Various countries and states worldwide have legalized the use of CBD in the form of edibles, oils, creams, and for smokers, the Delta 8 disposable cartridges. People welcomed it because of the medical and economic benefits that it brought. However, there is an ongoing discourse on whether its legalization can lead to an increase in poverty and homeless people. I will try to provide an overview that can help shed light on this complex topic.
What We Know So Far
Aside from anecdotes and the widely spread propaganda that demonizes cannabis as a gateway drug, there is no scientific proof that links Cannabis use and homelessness. According to the article published by the National Coalition of the Homeless, the major factors for homelessness are:
Insecure jobs that don’t provide the income and benefits for a reasonable living standard.
Decrease in public assistance
Policymakers either cut funding or let inflation decrease the value of welfare assistance programs due to a misguided idea that welfare for the needy may lead to over-dependency.
Lack of affordable housing and the limited scale of the housing assistance program
Rising costs of rent that take up to 50% of a renter’s expenses, lack of government support and rent subsidies, and high demand and low availability of housing contribute to this problem.
As you can see, all of the major factors are rooted in systematic problems that require a serious look into government policies, a living wage, and welfare. Using the potential addiction to marijuana as a scapegoat is just ignoring the problems of income inequality and corporate greed and will prolong the issue as these social problems are there well before the legalization of CBD.
Benefits of Legalizing CBD and its Surprising Repercussions
Many businesses that cater to the production, distribution, research, and use of marijuana have sprung up. Growing alongside them are supporting industries while not directly handing CBD, providing the logistics, communications, and financial support that assist these businesses to grow. This, in turn, results in many jobs and an increase in tax revenue, which is very enticing to countries and states still on the fence.
Ironically, the booming cannabis industry can cause some towns to have a shortage in housing and turn, an increase in homelessness.
An example is the town of Pueblo, Colorado. People have flocked there to be able to legally use marijuana, and job seekers want to look for new opportunities.
This has increased the demand for housing for those who were visiting temporarily and those who want to take root and take advantage of the economic benefits. While it’s good news for landlords, newcomers and those on the verge of homelessness will have difficulty finding a place to stay as even low-cost accommodations are being occupied.
In response, there is a proposal that will direct the tax proceeds to help ease the housing shortage. Using the proceeds from a booming industry to help the needy and support its citizens is a great idea. It’ll result in a snowball effect as more people will have the resources to find and keep a job while keeping the industry alive.