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Legalized Marijuana Businesses Mostly Popping Up in Low Income Neighborhoods

Legalized marijuana business in Denver

When Amendment 64, the amendment seeking to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults in Colorado, passed in November, 2012, Colorado became the first state to end the prohibition on marijuana in the United States. But not everyone is happy about it, especially families living in low-income neighborhoods. Why? That's where most of the marijuana facilities seem to be locating.

Neighborhood residents don't want it in their back yard

Many of the marijuana businesses have settled in poorer areas such as Elyria Swansea, Globeville and Northeast Park Hill in north Denver, and Overland to the south. City regulations restrict them to areas that are industrial; however, many low-income neighborhoods are next to industrial sites. While many marijuana business owners say they are being good neighbors, residents who live in these areas are concerned about the effect of weed being grown and sold in their back yard.

What neighbors are concerned about

Many neighbors are citing the following concerns: rising crime, increased use of marijuana by teens, unlocked trash bins, and a disproportionate amount of marijuana businesses being located in their neighborhoods. While statistics have shown that crime in these area have increased only marginally since marijuana sales began, residents view it as simply undesirable industries moving into their neighborhoods.

One area in particular is along the city's southern area on either side of the Santa Fe Drive corridor that mostly covers the Overland neighborhood. This neighborhood has one marijuana license for every 47 people who live there. In addition, 70 percent of the residents are minorities. City officials continue to explore ways to create a more equal distribution of marijuana businesses.

Read more at www.denverpost.com/marijuana/ci_29336993/denvers-pot-businesses-mostly-low-income-minority-neighborhoods

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