Drawn To Colorado By Marijuana, Some End Up Homeless

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Photo: Marijuana homelessness Devin Butts CROPPED
Devin Butts smokes a joint in Pueblo.

Legal recreational marijuana has drawn many people to Colorado. Almost half of tourists considering the state for their summer vacations say marijuana is a factor. Others come here intending to stay permanently, with the chance to work in the industry or consume pot without breaking the law. They include Devin Butts, who boarded a bus in Texas this spring and rode it to Pueblo. Butts hoped to start over, find a new job and use marijuana legally to get himself to stop using other illicit drugs.

But Butts landed at a homeless shelter, one of many people in that position, according to two reports last week in the International Business Times that found an increase in homelessness due at least in part to marijuana's draw for out-of-towners. Joel Warner covers marijuana for the IBT and is based in Denver. He spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.