Craiglist Rant: America Needs to Legalize Pot So I Can Afford to Live in Colorado

Two of the topics that rile up Westword readers the most are the cost of rent in Denver and marijuana legalization in Colorado.

In "Rent vs. Home Right Now in Denver," a post shared in the "Rants and Raves" section of Denver Craigslist, they come together in memorable fashion.

The anonymous author talks about the turmoil in his life caused by the sale of his apartment building in Lakewood and the new owners' efforts to get current residents to move out by way of drawn-out remodeling  and jacked-up rents.

But after detailing this ugly scenario, his plan to handle it and the possibility that he'll be living in his car if things go awry, he suggests that the root cause of the situation is legal pot, which he feels has drawn so many people to Colorado that housing costs for longtimers have gone through the roof.

It's an interesting theory, accompanied by a story to which plenty of Denverites will relate. Check it out here.

"Rent vs. Home Right Now in Denver"

I have been forced to make a very very scary fucking choice in my life.

My once cheap, tiny, 2br apt w/a mere 16 units, hidden amongst nice little homes, where all the neighbors know one another and get along, has recently been sold by the owner & management company to new holders. It isn't much but I like it and have come to call it home. It has come to our attention, that the management company is trying to do everything to get people to move out — not fixing things or being very slow about it — either by letting them break their lease OR once their lease ends saying they have to move for the place to be remodeled.

Oh! and if you do want to stay, you still gotta move out, stay elsewhere for however long, then when you come back, you'll have to start the process all over again — background check, app fees, new deposit — AND pay $400 MORE than what we all pay right now. This place was built in the 40's or 50' isn't worth that, even with crown molding & hardwood floors and brand new cabinets. They'll get it — I have no doubt — but they wont be getting it from me.

Obviously, I'm saying fuck that & gonna move.

The rough part is that for once in my life, I have no fallback plan. I am very careful to always have some kind of safety net under me should shit go down. Right now, I don't.

So, I have to move. With the prices right now for rent in the metro area being so crazy, I am better off trying to get into a house! Thing is...if I go the house route, I can't apply for an apt bc it will cost most of my savings to just get into one, even if I'd only be there till I could find a house, which my loan amount would crumble bc I'd be paying more in rent, have less to put down, etc. and I can't get on a waiting list for a lower income one (even if I would qualify) for the same reasons.

So, I am going to try for a house.

My mother and her bf are over 65 & aging and I am going to let them stay with me so, that will help a little bit. They can't afford a place of their own & have been staying at a friends in the winter, and her bf's brother's little no-running water shack up in Evergreen in the spring-fall. They won't be able to make those treks much longer with how their health is going lately.

I am already packing everything, and am going to survive on cheap food for the next few months to save every penny I possibly can just to do this, but I would rather pay a bank for my home than pay a management company for a roof over my head, with these prices anyways.

I have till August 1st, then my lease is up, and either I'll be in a home or I'll be in my car & my stuff in storage till I can get a home. I've started with the CHFA class & am seeing a loan officer tomorrow to see what I can get approved for & since I am looking at a condo or townhome and have few requirements, I know I can get something & several agents have said I can find a home in this short time. But damn does this suck. Feel free to send any good juju my way, I would sincerely appreciate it.

Please, please please USA, make weed legal medically, if not medically AND recreationally, EVERYWHERE in the US so those of us in the legal states have places to live! People are moving here to make a business or work in the business and those of us who've been here and with the same job before the real estate depression are not able to fucking afford this w/o 50% of our income going towards it & that is insane! If it were legal everywhere, people would leave the state to make big bucks in other states or make more money by expanding their businesses outside of Colorado alone!

To anyone sending me good juju or wanting to keep up on this story, I will post again as time goes on. Thanks for your support if you send any & wishing all the best to you and yours as well.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts