A new pilot study from the Institute of Cannabis Research, or ICR, at Colorado State University Pueblo examines a wide range of topics, including the socio-economic effects of legalizing marijuana.
Part of the research includes poverty and homelessness in Pueblo. ICR sociology researcher Timothy McGettigan says while increasing homelessness is often attributed to the legalization of marijuana, it’s a complex issue that also has a lot to do with rising housing and utility costs.
McGettigan says legal cannabis has brought many people to Colorado, but adds, "Only a very very small number of those folks come to Colorado destitute, and very few of those come here and spend their last dime on cannabis. That’s just not the way it works."
Other ICR research shows an increase in crime, most likely related to population growth and decreasing police personnel. Researchers also found that local police say that changing marijuana laws has made their jobs more difficult.
ICR economists found a net benefit of some $35 million dollars in 2016.
Researchers presented the study to Pueblo County Commissioners on Monday, and the ICR is expected to officially release the report by the end of the week. The Institute cautions the study is a pilot and should not be used to draw concrete conclusions.