Congress Has a History of Funding Silly Marijuana Projects
The last time Congress included marijuana in its “infrastructure spending,” taxpayers got a billboard featuring a giant glow-in-the-dark joint.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration paid $35,100 for the 28-foot-tall Denver billboard that tried to educate drivers about getting behind the wheel while high.
According to the Denver Post, the billboard was conceived and designed, at a cost of $16,600, by LoDo advertising agency Amélie Company. The “media buy” cost taxpayers $12,500 and installation was another $6,000.
While Colorado could have paid for the giant blunt with the $135 million it collected last year from marijuana sales taxes and licensing fees, American taxpayers watched federal highway dollars go up in smoke.
As more states allow marijuana in some form, there’s potential for more drivers to drive under the influence, so included in legislation this summer – in the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, H.R. 3684, is an order for officials to make marijuana more accessible to researchers (page 1200 of the infrastructure bill).
Section 25026 requires a report on marijuana research be made and create a national marijuana clearinghouse.
Officials, including administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, will report to Congress and recommend ways for scientific researchers to study impairment while driving under the influence of marijuana.
The section establishes a national clearinghouse to collect and distribute samples and strains of marijuana for scientific research both in states where the drug is legal for medical and/or recreational use and in states where it’s not.
The officials will recommend ways to address federal statutory and regulatory barriers to conducting scientific research on marijuana-impaired driving.
Currently there are 44 states where some form of medical marijuana is legal (some allow CBD oil only), where 32 states have decriminalized recreational marijuana. Twenty-three states are considered fully legal.
That means plenty of opportunities for more 28-foot glow in the dark, doobie billboards.
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.