Youth Programs Left Wanting by California Marijuana Law

LOS ANGELES — More than a year after the start of marijuana sales in California, no money has been allocated for substance abuse programs and education for youth.

Voters had been promised that part of the tax revenue from sales and cultivation would be devoted to such programs.

Robert Harris, a policy adviser and lobbyist for the California Society of Addiction Medicine, said the absence of funding is sad and disappointing.

Equally troubling, he adds, is the lack of clear guidelines for how that funding would be divvied up, and how programs would be run and evaluated.

A new state report suggests the Legislature might have to clarify those issues.

The absence of dollars so far can be explained by the slow start to legal sales and the effect of rigid rules that came with the legalization measure.

Michael R. Blood, The Associated Press

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