From his sidewalk vantage point in front of an outdoor equipment store in downtown Durango, Colo., Matthew Marinseck has seen a transformation in this mountain resort town.
The picturesque town near the New Mexico border, once a vibrant, upscale community dotted with luxury hotels, is being overrun by panhandlers – thanks, in part, to the legalization of marijuana.
The town suddenly became a haven for recreational pot users, drawing in transients, panhandlers and a large number of homeless drug addicts, according to officials and business owners. Many are coming from New Mexico, Arizona and even 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.”
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