Marijuana isn’t attracting homeless people to Denver or Colorado, according to “best data we have”

He said it’s an area that needs more research to have a definitive answer, but all the evidence to date is that it’s not happening.

University of Denver's Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness founder Donald Burnes in an interview, April 27, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) Donald Burns; University of Denver; homelessness; academia; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Donald Burnes, founder of the University of Denver’s Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

It’s a pretty widespread idea and one for which it’s not hard to find anecdotal evidence. This would be the idea that Colorado in general and Denver in particular have gone to pot, with hordes of homeless people flocking to the state to partake without fear of legal consequences.

I put this question to Donald Burnes, founder and co-chair of the Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness at the University of Denver’s School of Social Work. He does research on the policy around homelessness, as well as on public discourse and the effectiveness of programs.

He said it’s an area that needs more research to have a definitive answer, but all the evidence to date is that it’s not happening. Surveys of the homeless population just don’t show a huge increase in the numbers of people moving here from other states. Most homeless people in Colorado lived here before they became homeless. 


If the feds crack down on Colorado pot businesses, local police would be able to help

A defeated bill would have prohibited public employees from assisting federal agents in “arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right.”

Colorado law enforcement officers are free to help in a potential federal marijuana crackdown.

That’s after the state Senate rejected a bill to prohibit public employees from assisting federal agents in “arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right.”


Denver lawyer says weed church may have opened a path for pot clubs in Denver

Felipe Crespo (left) and Cory Welkerle split a joint inside the International Church of Cannabis on S. Logan Street, April 4, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) 420; marijuana; international church of cannabis; washington park west; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Felipe Crespo (left) and Cory Welkerle split a joint inside the International Church of Cannabis on S. Logan Street, April 4, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

When Denver’s new cannabis church, Elevation Ministries, opened its doors last week, lawyer Rob Corry saw another opening for other marijuana aficionados.

“I’ve got 15 [pot] clubs down in Colorado Springs and they’re being persecuted by the city and they’re looking to move to Denver and this religious, faith-based model seems to work. Denver appears to accept it,” said Corry, who is not affiliated with Elevation Ministries.


Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter introduces bill to allow pot shops to bank

The move is part of the recently formed Cannabis Caucus’ efforts to increase protections for the legal marijuana industry.

US House Representative Ed Perlmutter (District 7) speaks out against Donald Trump on the State Capitol Steps on July 2, 2016. (Sara Hertwig/For Denverite) ed pearlmutter; denver; denverite; sara hertwig; colorado; poltics
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (District 7) speaks out against Donald Trump on the State Capitol Steps on July 2, 2016. (Sara Hertwig/For Denverite)

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat, is teaming up with representatives from Alaska and Washington this week for another push at getting marijuana-related businesses access to the federal banking system.