Legalized Marijuana: Check out what this former RESORT TOWN now looks like
Ever seen the before and after pictures of a chick on crank?
Holy Mother of Janet Reno, let’s just say it’s not pretty.
The Left may call drugs a “victimless crime,” however that depends on how you define victims. Drugs rarely impact only the druggie. In fact, drugs leave many victims in their wake, mostly family.
Well, the same thing that happens to people on drugs can happen to towns on drugs. Take for example, Durango, Colorado. The name itself conjures up images of the Old West. The picturesque vistas with cattle grazing.
From his sidewalk vantage point in front of an outdoor equipment store in downtown Durango, resident Matthew Marinseck has seen a transformation in this mountain resort town.
Durango was once a vibrant, upscale community dotted with luxury hotels. However, the town transformed, quickly. And now the scenic town has become overrun by panhandlers.
These people didn’t come out of anywhere. They are a direct result of the legalization of marijuana.
Due to the law of unintended consequences, Leftist unknowingly transformed Durango. The town has suddenly become a haven for recreational pot users.
According to town officials and business owners, Durango now draws in transients, panhandlers and a large number of homeless drug addicts, as they invade from New Mexico, Arizona and even as far as 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.”
In what was likely never imagined by residents of Durango, one can see several people holding cardboard signs lining the streets of the town. While most panhandlers beg for food or spare change, most of these vagrants ask specifically for marijuana.
But it’s gotten worse.
Now residents of Durango regularly find needles in the streets, foreboding an even bigger problem.
“[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 much more who are violent.”
Preston now excels at 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.
Where there are drugs…
The store owners notice an uptick in crime. Drug addicts’ crime of choice usually begins with shoplifting.
Shoplifting has become a major problem in the city, and the business owners have reached their limits. Many realize that shoplifting is the gateway crime to far worse.
The last thing a town built on tourism needs is a reputation for drugs and crime.
He said he’s also noticed an uptick in crime in the area. But that’s what they got.
Shoplifting, he said, has become a major problem in Durango and business owner is 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 panhandlers. A rudimentary effort is already in place with handwritten signs encouraging donations to be made to charities that help the homeless rather than handing panhandlers’ money directly.
As one clerk who wouldn’t give her name reported, “As marijuana became legal, the quality of life worsened.”