Is Youth Homelessness In Denver Being Caused By Marijuana Legalization?

Homeless Pot



While officials in Colorado are celebrating the economic and other positive societal impacts marijuana legalization is having on their state, officials at some Denver homeless shelters are claiming that legalization has led to a rise in the number of younger people living on the streets.

The Huffington Post reports that One organization dealing with the increase is Urban Peak. They provide food, shelter and other services to homeless people ages 15 to 24. Deputy director Kendall Rames said that of the new kids checking in, the majority say it’s because of marijuana.

The Salvation Army’s single men’s shelter in Denver has had more homeless this summer and officials have seen an increase in 18- to 25-year-olds checking in. The shelter took care of an average of 225 each night last summer, but this summer it’s averaging 300 people per night.

At the St. Francis Center, pot is the second most frequently volunteered reason for being in Colorado, after looking for work.

Some of the homeless are traveling to the state for jobs, but had felony backgrounds that prevent them from working in pot shops and grow houses. Others  find work but don’t earn enough to pay rent in the city’s expensive housing market.

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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