US State Colarado Sees Spurt in Homeless Youngsters after Legalising Marijuana

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By Kalyan Kumar | July 29, 2014 11:24 AM EST

Colorado's legalisation of cannabis (marijuana) has led to an increase in the number of young people living on the streets, reported Telegraph.

Colarado made history in January this year when it opened stores licensed to sell marijuana legally. The Passage of Amendment 66 legalised marijuana and created a bonanza for green entrepreneurs and tax collectors.

REUTERS
Demonstrators smoke a giant joint of cannabis during a pro-marijuana legalization march in Brasilia May 23, 2014.

Now the side effects are out in the open. The bonanza of Colarado is becoming a pain for neighbouring states in terms of smashed social peace and drift of yoinsters into intoxicants.

Homeless youth

Many local shelters in Denver are over flowing with the influx of young homeless who are cannabis users. In Denver the Salvation Army run shelter for men saw an increase in the number of 18- to 25-year-olds there. The shelter housing an average 225 each night saw 300 people per night this summer. More than a quarter of the increase was related to marijuana including people who moved hoping to find work in the industry.

A daytime homeless shelter manager says cannabis is the second-most frequently given reason for visiting Colorado, after work.

A recent study says Colarado sells an average 10 tons of the drug each month and is collecting $184 million in cannabis tax revenues. After legislation, hundreds of shops popped up. They sell drug baked brownies and sweets or served in drinks. Hospitals reported treating a growing numbers of children eating edible marijuana by accident and adults injecting potent doses.

The pro cannabis lobby cites numerous medical benefits of the drug. Critics are magnifying the harmful effects of the sudden legalisation and its adverse impact on the neighbouring states where cannabis is unlawful.

Crime rate drops

The best part of the liberalisation seems to be the dramatic drop in crime. Since January homicides in Denver fell 60 percent according to official data. Many violent crimes including robberies fell 4.8 per cent from January to April compared to the same period in 2013 and assaults were down 3.7 per cent.

Many neighbouring states are concerned by the spurt in consumption of marijuana by its youngsters. They say the diversion can only be checked by revising the U.S. Criminal Code to enable states and Indian tribes to opt out of federal marijuana laws. A YouGov survey says that 61 per cent Americans support Colorado's decision to legalise the drug and want similar the change in law in their own state.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino)
Demonstrators smoke a giant joint of cannabis during a pro-marijuana legalization march in Brasilia May 23, 2014.
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