Workers planting marijuana on June 17, 2016, at Los Sueños Farms, in Pueblo, Colo., the largest outdoor legal grow facility in the U.S.

The Marijuana Industry’s War on the Poor: Denver’s booming pot industry may be trendy, but it’s giving poorer neighborhoods a headache.

The Marijuana Industry’s War on the Poor: Denver’s booming pot industry may be trendy, but it’s giving poorer neighborhoods a headache.

Candi CdeBaca voted to legalize the free sale of marijuana in Colorado four years ago because she thought it would be good for her Denver neighborhood.

Candi CdeBaca voted to legalize the free sale of marijuana in Colorado four years ago because she thought it would be good for her Denver neighborhood.

That benefit of legalization, I fear, is being a bit oversold in California. Ask Candi CdeBaca. Legalizing pot hasn’t started to solve decades of inequities in her neighborhood because not enough people there have made social justice a priority.

That benefit of legalization, I fear, is being a bit oversold in California. Ask Candi CdeBaca. Legalizing pot hasn’t started to solve decades of inequities in her neighborhood because not enough people there have made social justice a priority.

"We were told that legalization would take drugs out of our community," says Candi CdeBaca, a community activist who grew up in the mostly Latino and poor Denver neighborhood of Elyria-Swansea. " The drugs stayed—and the drug dealers changed."

"We were told that legalization would take drugs out of our community," says Candi CdeBaca, a community activist who grew up in the mostly Latino and poor Denver neighborhood of Elyria-Swansea. " The drugs stayed—and the drug dealers changed."

Marijuana in the Community:

Recreational marijuana businesses have proliferated so rapidly in some of Denver’s poorer neighborhoods during the past two years that city officials are exploring ways to disperse future growth more evenly.

Recreational marijuana businesses have proliferated so rapidly in some of Denver’s poorer neighborhoods during the past two years that city officials are exploring ways to disperse future growth more evenly.

Denver resident Candi CdeBaca says industrial marijuana grow operations like the one behind her are unwelcome neighbours in her community of Elyria-Swansea.

Denver resident Candi CdeBaca says industrial marijuana grow operations like the one behind her are unwelcome neighbours in her community of Elyria-Swansea.