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Author Topic: The War on Drugs  (Read 163410 times)
Power User
Posts: 14824

« Reply #450 on: March 16, 2017, 08:09:21 PM »

BBG's view is welcome anytime.  Personal responsibility is still a factor, not just legalization, criminalization.

Trump and the Feds need to do something about federal law not matching state laws (and state constitutions) and I doubt if sending troops into these (swing) states is the best answer.

Colorado's law partly failed and partly succeeded.  Now it's 4 or 5 states.

We don't need legal heroin or legal meth or legal cocaine or five year olds using drugs.  But we also don't need coercive paternalism to be the law of the land for all personal behavior, soda, french fries, etc.

BBG would argue that attempting to use law enforcement to keep heroin from the five year old is a failed policy that should be abandoned.
Power User
Posts: 40346

« Reply #451 on: April 20, 2017, 12:40:45 AM »
Power User
Posts: 14824

« Reply #452 on: May 17, 2017, 08:54:09 PM »

Legalized marijuana turns Colorado resort town into homeless magnet
By Joseph J. Kolb Published May 17, 2017 Fox News
From his sidewalk vantage point in front of an outdoor equipment store in downtown Durango, Colo., Matthew Marinseck has seen a transformation in this mountain resort town.

The picturesque town near the New Mexico border, once a vibrant, upscale community dotted with luxury hotels, is being overrun by panhandlers – thanks, in part, to the legalization of marijuana.

The town suddenly became a haven for recreational pot users, drawing in transients, panhandlers and a large number of homeless drug addicts, according to officials and business owners. Many are coming from New Mexico, Arizona and even New York.

“Legalized marijuana has drawn a lot of kids here from other states and the impact has not all been good,” said Marinseck, 58, while holding a cardboard sign asking for “help.”

Several people holding cardboard signs could be seen along the streets of Durango now. Some just ask for marijuana, or imply that’s what they want with a photo of a green pot leaf. But it’s not just pot users being drawn to Durango.

“[The] city really started freaking out when they started seeing needles in the streets” said Marinseck, a self-avowed former hippie.

Caleb Preston, a store manager in a gift shop and a former “street entertainer,” said the homeless and panhandling issue in Durango has gotten out of hand since the state legalized marijuana.

“Just this year there has been a major influx of people between 20 to 30 who are just hanging out on the streets,” Preston said. “The problem is while many are pretty mellow, there are many more who are violent.”

Preston said he’s become accustomed to kicking out vagrants who perch themselves in front of his store.

“Most of the kids here are from out of state, and I would say it has a lot to do with the legalized pot,” said Preston.

He said he’s also noticed an uptick in crime in the area. Shoplifting, he said, has become a major problem in Durango and business owners are becoming fed up.

The city’s Business Improvement District held a meeting May 12 to review the results of a survey completed by local businesses on how to address the panhandling issue, which has become an urgent matter as the city enters its busy summer tourist season.

Among the suggestions were stricter laws for panhandling and loitering, strategic placement of obstacles such as bistro tables and flower boxes to discourage sitting and lying on sidewalks. They also proposed launching a campaign discouraging tourists to give money to the pan handlers. A rudimentary effort is already in place with handwritten signs encouraging donations be made to charities that help the homeless rather than handing panhandlers’ money directly.

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durango pot charityExpand / Collapse
A hand-scrawled sign asking people to donate to homeless groups rather than to panhandlers directly.  (Joe Kolb/Fox News)
Tim Walsworth, executive director of Durango Business Improvement District, said he is frustrated. He said he has to walk a tightrope between the civil liberties of the homeless population and the reputation and attractiveness of the downtown area, which for years has been a hot tourist destination.

“We’re hoping to discourage the transient and professional panhandlers that are impacting the perceived safety and cleanliness of our downtown, as well as help those who are truly in need,” Walsworth said in a statement.

Conspicuously absent from the busy downtown: The presence of police patrols.

Durango Police Chief Kamran Afzal said he has only been on the job for a month and is still assessing where the needs are in the town. With a department of 50 officers and only five per shift who cover 20 square miles, the challenge is daunting, he said. He said the property crime rate is 12 percent higher than the national average.


“At this point, since I’m new here, I can’t definitively say this number is related to our homeless population,” Afzal said.

But he would not go so far as to say that the rise in panhandlers is directly attributed to the legalization of marijuana.

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durango pot business districtExpand / Collapse
Durango, Colo. is a vibrant, mountain resort town.  (Joe Kolb/Fox News)
“We are going to look at the behavior of individuals who cause discomfort for residents and visitors,” he said, through a Community Engagement Team. But, he said, the tricky part is figuring out when panhandlers cross the line to criminals.

Panhandlers like Marinseck may not exactly pose a threat to pedestrians shopping at the boutiques, souvenir stores or microbreweries in downtown Durango. But they don’t exactly evoke the wholesome image the business district wants to project.

Still, the city recently settled a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union allowing the homeless population to panhandle.

A clerk at a local hotel who declined to give her name told Fox News that since marijuana has become legal in Colorado, the quality of life in Durango has worsened.

She said she’s frequently harassed when she goes to the supermarket or local WalMart. Some of the local parks, she said, have been taken over by the homeless.

“I’ve lived here my entire life and don’t feel safe here anymore,” the clerk said. “If it wasn’t so beautiful here, I would probably move.”

Joseph J. Kolb is a regular contributor to Fox News.
Power User
Posts: 8863

« Reply #453 on: May 17, 2017, 11:52:32 PM »

"the city [Durango] recently settled a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union allowing the homeless population to panhandle."

Panhandling might be the biggest growth industry under Obama.  It's the last business to fight off taxes and regulation.  Sadly I wish the IRS would monitor it the way they treat everyone that does productive work.  Too bad people give, with no information about who or for what purpose.

The fracking boom in North Dakota experienced some of those same problems.  In that case they came for the high paying laborer jobs.  But the people who came tended to be male, young, not burdened with responsibilities like college, wife, mortgage.  Young males without family responsibilities don't have the best behaviors.  The crime rate went up accordingly, drugs, prostitution, bar fights etc.

My point with the comparison is that it is not necessarily the pot, but the people that pot legalization attracts.   Colorado is the cool place to relocate for many.  Amazingly beautiful, great climate, wonderful recreation.  Legal marijuana. Housing prices have doubled in the decade I have been involved there.  The 'crash' was of no significance.

I wonder what the effect in Colorado will be with more states legalizing.
Power User
Posts: 14824

« Reply #454 on: May 23, 2017, 11:32:31 AM »

Black market marijuana business booming in Colorado

Black market marijuana business booming

DENVER -- The Denver Police Department said Colorado’s illegal marijuana business is thriving.

"The black market marijuana is booming," Cmdr. James Henning said.

Last year, Denver police arrested 242 people for illegally growing, selling or extracting marijuana. Henning's team seized 8,913 pounds of marijuana last year.

“That’s driven simply by the old laws of supply and demand. People are buying marijuana for a low price and buying low and selling it high," he said.

Local police work with the Drug Enforcement Administration to eradicate illegal grows across the state, including several outdoor cultivation sites in Pueblo, Mesa, El Paso and Garfield counties.

Pictures released by the DEA and police show hundreds of potted, pruned and THC-producing plants confiscated on the black market. Police say the illegal business is not only booming, it’s increasingly more dangerous.

“We are finding more weapons, They are a little edgier. We know that in that black market, there’s a lot of ripoffs and robberies going on, but nobody reports it to us because you don’t report that you are robbed while doing an illegal activity," Henning said.

Law enforcement said the illegal market is flooded with high-quality Colorado medicinal marijuana. Red card users can buy 2 ounces a day for $100 to $150. Users can turn around and sell an ounce for $350 to $400.

Statistics from state patrol agencies across the country show Colorado marijuana mainly goes to seven states, with 65 percent of the weed coming from Denver.

In just three years, law enforcement across the country have seized about 4.5 tons of marijuana from Colorado.

Ads on Craigslist promise “safe dealings” and “overnight delivery” to out-of-state buyers. Police say it’s all buying and selling on the black market.

“We also have many local investigations anywhere from your small Craigslist operation where a guy is on Craigslist saying or offering you marijuana right now or I can ship marijuana anywhere in the United States. It’s all 100 percent illegal,” said Henning.

Users said Colorado’s marijuana market might have stopped low-quality weed from coming into the state, but it has opened the door for millions worth of top quality illegal weed to be sold tax free outside the state.

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