Colorado police agencies, armed with $21M in marijuana tax revenue, try to steer mentally ill, drug addicted away from jail

In a new approach, police in 10 communities will divvy up $21.5 million in aid from Colorado to try cleaning up high-crime areas by steering people struggling with drug addiction and mental health disorders toward treatment and housing instead of incarceration.

Officials with the Colorado Department of Human Services announced the awards Wednesday.

“We’re thrilled,” said Doyle Forrestal, CEO of the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, a consortium of behavioral health providers in the state, which lobbied for the state financing. “We think it’s the most innovative and…

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