Marijuana fines to fund youth substance abuse prevention program in Pueblo schools

PUEBLO, Colo. — Officials have approved the funding agreement for a new substance abuse education and prevention program for Pueblo schools.

The Botvin Lifeskills Training Program will help minimize the risk of middle school students’ use of marijuana, alcohol and tobacco in Pueblo County, officials said Monday.

The Pueblo County Board of County Commissioners approved the funding Monday between Pueblo County and the Pueblo City-County Health Department.

Officials said the program is proven to decrease drug use by up to 75 percent, alcohol use by up to 60 percent, verbal / physical aggression and delinquency by up to 50 percent and tobacco use by up to 87 percent.

“I think this is important. One of the benefits of regulating marijuana is bringing in the revenue that can be used to try and deter under-age kids from getting hooked on any substance,” said Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace. “There is an opportunity here to help kids… it’s wonderful these funds are being used to address substance abuse in our community.”

Officials said the program is research-validated with proven success rates. It will be funded with a portion of marijuana regulations violations fines assessed in 2015.

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