Marijuana sales tax funds after school programs

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Starting in October, a portion of marijuana sales in Alaska will help fund afterschool programs, which the Alaska Afterschool Network said will prevent substance use with youth.

“Alaska’s youth are significantly less likely to engage in risk behaviors, like substance use, when they participate in afterschool programs,” said Thomas Azzarella, Alaska Afterschool Network Director.

According to Azzarella, 12.5 percent of marijuana sales in Alaska will go toward funding after school programs.

“It's really about how do we reduce the risk of young people, who the market place is not designed to engage,” Azzarella said.

Azzarella said that 1.25 million dollars will be distributed across the state to help fund existing and new afterschool programs.

The Boys and Girls Club is one of the recipients of the grant.

“It means we are going to have the resources to support more positive development,” said Molly Monahan, the clubhouse manager at the Woodland Park Boys and Girls Club.

According to Azzarella, 45,000 children are on waiting lists for afterschool programs across the state.

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