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A few states in the USA have chosen to legalize marijuana for widespread public use. The benefit of this is that these states are now being studied and allow us to realize the detrimental effects of public use of marijuana.

Many promises were made to citizens of Colorado when they were given the choice to legalize marijuana. Those promises have not been fulfilled and in many cases, the opposite has occurred. Crime and homelessness has become more of a problem in Colorado than ever before.

A report entitled, “The Impact of Marijuana Legalization on State and Local Governments and Communities,” released by the Texas Police Chiefs Association in 2019, explains the impact that marijuana legalization has had on the citizens of Colorado, Oregon, California and Alaska.

In all three states, crimes including larceny ( robbery) and motor vehicle theft have increased substantially. In Colorado alone, fatal car accidents involving marijuana have increased by 66%.

Businesses have also been affected by marijuana usage. As companies continue to drug test employees, more employees are failing the tests which costs the companies money in hiring more employees and causes less productivity among employees.

Tax sales were promised to sky rocket. According to the report, “California tax revenue expectations for year one of legalization fell short by nearly $160,000,000.00.

Use of marijuana by young people typically not at risk for marijuana use has increased dramatically due to their ability to easily obtain it from their friends. Marijuana use at a young age increases the likelihood of opioid drug use later in life.

Marijuana also has detrimental effects on its users. They are at an increased risk of psychoses and other mental diseases, with higher instances of suicidal thoughts.

Even with legal marijuana sales, illegal marijuana sales is still a problem. Black market marijuana is readily available.

How can this affect the real estate market in Huntsville and Texas in general? The larger cities in Texas already have a homeless problem that has proven very challenging to solve. In Huntsville, we do not have this problem mostly due to the efforts of our local Good Shepherd Mission for many years of serving those with needs in Walker County. The mission runs on donations and the work of volunteers.

Marijuana use contributes to homelessness and a person’s lack of desire to be a productive citizen.

Daiquiri Beebe is a Huntsville resident and realtor for Abby Realty.