What happens to Colorado green rush if other states legalize recreational marijuana?

Posted at 9:35 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 00:59:51-04

DENVER -- Five other states will vote on legalizing recreational marijuana on Nov. 8 and the impact on Colorado is yet to be seen.

The Colorado green rush is credited with bringing an influx of investment and people to the state. Supporters cite a $2.4 billion economic impact in 2015 but opponents point to concerns about crime and homelessness.

After several incidents downtown this summer, city leaders blamed what they called "urban travelers" -- people drawn to Colorado for legal weed. They even told dispensaries on the 16th Street Mall to avoid selling individual joints.

A homeless man who calls himself "L.A." told Denver 7 he moved here from Louisiana because of marijuana, as he said, "For the best weed ever."

Arizona, California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts are the five states that will vote on proposals to legalize recreational marijuana.

"I think if they legalize it elsewhere that [sic] they’ll probably go to those areas," said Travis Craig, who has been out on the streets since August.

Craig said he uses marijuana to control his epilepsy. 

Denver city officials believe anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of homeless people are moving here in part for legalized marijuana or to find jobs in the industry. The number is merely an estimate based on what service providers are hearing.


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