A new survey commissioned by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice shows that legal cannabis is attracting vagrant people to the state. According to the survey, since 2012, legal weed has attracted over one-third of homeless jail inmates to Colorado. The participants included mostly 507 homeless inmates lodged in seven city and county jails.
However, the head of the agency that conducted the survey said the findings barely answer the question. According to the survey, most of the homeless inmates had moved to Colorado prior to the legalization of marijuana. The remaining 41 percent came to the state after 2012, when it voted to decriminalize marijuana for recreational purposes.
In the survey sample, only 77 inmates fall in the category of those who move to Colorado for the love of weed, or approximately 1 percent of the overall population of prisons that were surveyed. As many as 35 percent of those inmates said legal weed was among the reasons for their migration to Colorado. “We know that marijuana is one of the reasons that it’s drawn some of the people here since legalization. It’s not the top reason, but remains one of the reasons,” said Stan Hilkey, executive director of Colorado’s Department of Public Safety..
However, downplaying the findings of the survey, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper emphasized the need for more data. Hickenlooper said that the survey was conducted on a low budget as it is evident in the results. He said that only two homeless inmates, who landed in Colorado after the legalization of the drug, chose weed as their reason for entering the state out of multiple responses. “We’re attracting a lot of people, and when you attract a lot of people you get some homeless people,” said Hickenlooper.
Whereas, Executive Director of Denver’s St. Francis Center Tom Luehrs said he doesn’t depend on a survey to understand the ground reality. He insists that marijuana has attracted more homeless people to Denver, particularly through the doors of his shelter for such individuals. Luehrs said his shelter carried out its own informal survey that confirmed that marijuana is a significant factor in drawing homeless people to the city in most of the cases. He was, however, optimistic that the ongoing legalization in several states would ease some of the burden on Colorado.
Marijuana is an addictive drug
Marijuana, popularly known as pot or weed, continues to be the most widely available and abused illicit substance nationwide. Experts say that marijuana has the potential to push users toward other hard drugs. Extended pot use and abuse can result in addiction, mental problems, and other life-wrecking consequences.
On the other hand, pro-marijuana advocates consider it as one of the least psychoactive drugs. It is being used as an effective remedy for chronic pain. Moreover, it is a well-known fact that people with this condition are routinely prescribed addictive opioid painkillers that cause thousands of overdose deaths across the country, making medical marijuana a life saver.
Regardless of the legalization of marijuana in several states, Americans at large should know that abuse could cause adverse health concerns. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the principal mind-altering ingredient in marijuana that causes dependence and triggers cravings for the drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has neither recognized nor approved the medicinal value of the drug. It continues to be classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act owing to high potential for abuse.
The good thing is that marijuana addiction can be treated with timely medical intervention. Sovereign Health is a leading substance abuse and behavioral health treatment provider in the U.S. with comprehensive marijuana addiction treatment programs. We offer holistic detox therapies for patients in a safe and conducive environment. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 683-9756 or chat online with our trained recovery expert for further information on our world-class marijuana rehab centers.