Old Denver Jail Used to Store Seized MarijuanaPosted by On

Thomas Wolf isn’t rated as one of the top-tier candidates in the wide-open race for Denver mayor, but one of his suggestions made us sit up and take notice: An old city jail that now stores confiscated marijuana could be used to shelter humans instead.

Wolf has argued on behalf of closing homeless encampments and providing immediate, temporary shelter — not affordable or permanent housing — for individuals without homes. That’s a departure from the position of many competitors, and his stance has made some homeless advocates view him as “big, bad Wolf,” admits the candidate.

But during the Fair Elections Fund February 9 debate and again at the February 20 forum on homelessness, Wolf cited the jail as an example of misused city resources. Why house marijuana when you could shelter people? He points to the old downtown jail, currently being used by the Denver Police Department to store confiscated marijuana, as a waste of a city facility.

“When we have people freezing on the corner in 20-degree weather,” Wolf says, “I just really can’t see in a city where we have surplus housing, why we aren’t using it. It’s a specific example of surplus real estate we own as a community that should be brought to bear on this problem.”

A building full of marijuana was news to us, and Westword contacted the DPD, the Denver Sheriff Department and the Denver Department of Public Safety for more details.

Its answers were brief, but the DPD did confirm that “part of an old jail” was being used…

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