The Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, or DBHR, has allocated approximately $245,000 of Washington state’s recreational marijuana sales tax revenue to Island County.
The county has until March 31, 2018, to spend the money, which is for use in anti-drug and other mental-health services in public schools. Problem is, the county doesn’t have a plan nailed down quite yet.
Jackie Henderson, director of Island County Human Services, said that planning how to use the funds has proven to be complex.
“This is not a simple situation,” she said, adding that the people at the DBHR, who manage the money, “keep changing how the funds can be used.”
At a recent county commissioners meeting, Lynda Richards, assistant director of Island County Human Services, said the situation’s complexity was deepened by the DBHR’s stipulations that the money’s use be “targeted very specifically.”
These targets include selections from a list of “certain evidence-based programs” that center “around treatment at the middle-school and high-school levels to keep students from using drugs.” Henderson said.
She plans to contact all the county’s school districts to see what training can be implemented with the funds, to ensure better anti-drug and mental health resources for students, she said.