“There’s no question that marijuana and other drugs – in combination with mental illness or other disabling conditions – are essential contributors to chronic homelessness.” Senator John Hickenlooper made that statement when he was governor of Colorado in 2017.
“This is one of the results of the legalization of marijuana in Denver, and we’re going to have to deal with it.” Mayor Michael Hancock was talking about a violent incident on 16th Street Mall. He described the “urban travelers” who came to Denver following legalization. That was seven years ago, and a new mayor will have to deal with the problem, a problem that now extends to more cities.
Photos of unhoused people living in squalid camps of Los Angeles (shown above), Portland and Seattle show up in our social media feeds. They’re taking over the streets in San Francisco, Vancouver and Denver. New York City, with its 1400 illegal pot shops, has a growing homeless population, too.
And although homelessness is a national problem, and substance abuse is not the only cause, the common factor of the worst-hit cities and states is legalized marijuana. In some areas, it has reached crisis levels. Even local leaders have declared a state of emergency to address the urgency of the situation.
Continue reading Marijuana Legalization is Closely Linked to the Homelessness Crisis