bostonglobe | Yet Mason Tvert, a key Colorado and national legalization advocate, said the idea of eliminating a legal, regulated market as a way to undermine the black market is logically unsound.
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With rain on the horizon, dozens of shoppers headed for the Safeway in Pueblo West one evening last week. Residents were split on whether to embrace the marijuana repeal — and it’s not clear how the vote will shake out.
Shannon McPherson, a social worker, said marijuana legalization has “been bad for the whole Pueblo community.”
The 47-year-old, who works at a hospital, said “we see a lot more homeless people — we see a lot of people that have come without resources, that end up tapping our resources.”
Jason White, 44, owns a property management company and expressed frustration he has had to deal with marijuana-smoking squatters in some of his properties.
“We’ve got more crime. We’ve got more people on the street. Our hospitals are filled with people,” he said. And what of the economic benefits? It’s a net negative, he insisted. The extra revenue that comes in, “all it’s doing is going to the overwhelmed homeless shelters, hospitals, and the police.”
Davis Dossantos, 43, said he’s seen an uptick in vagrancy and panhandling since legalizatio But, walking out of the grocery store, Dossantos said he would vote against the ballot initiative because, he indicated, people will still use marijuana but will probably not drive somewhere else to buy it legally.
“You’re not really tackling the issue,” he said, shaking his head. “You’re forcing the individuals to go back to the drug dealers, and the black market will flourish even more.”