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Homeless veteran came to Pueblo for legal pot
Pueblo Chieftain - 2/11/2019
Feb. 11--Mike Tiger wears an Army camouflaged rain hat, which he's certainly entitled to wear, having served for nine years.
"I was in from 1989 to 1998," he answers precisely when asked. "I was discharged from Fort Lee (Virginia)."
Tiger is 47 and has been living in Pueblo for over a year. More specifically, he's been living on Pueblo's streets or in homeless camps or with the occasional friend. This winter, he's been sleeping in the city's warming shelter on West Ninth Street.
Tiger was living in Oklahoma City before heading to Colorado.
"I had a line on a good (tree-trimming) job, but I lost my wallet coming up here and now I'm stuck," he said.
Without a photo ID, Tiger can't do much, he said. He credits Rep. Scott Tipton's office with helping him get a copy of his Defense Department discharge form, a DD-214. But that's not a photo ID, either.
"I need to get a copy of my birth certificate from Kansas City," he explained, but with a certain amount of resignation that indicated it might or might not happen.
So why is Tiger in Pueblo? Wouldn't New Mexico or Arizona be warmer in the winter?
"I don't feel like making that walk," he replied. "I like it here. Even if I got everything squared away, I'd come here to live."
Really? Pueblo seems awfully cold in January.
"I like marijuana," Tiger added, ending the mystery. He quickly named the states where marijuana is legal. "That's what brought me here," he added.
Oklahoma isn't on the list of legal states, he noted.
"Being homeless in Pueblo is 10 times better than living in Oklahoma," Tiger said with enthusiasm. "I like it here. Most of the people are friendly."
Not exactly the endorsement the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce is looking for.
So how can Tiger afford pot when he's living on the street?
"I do work. Odd jobs," he said.
And he's talked to several pot dispensaries about getting a job, too.
"If I had a photo ID, I'd have a job and be off the street in two weeks," he said.
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