Pot tourism in the US?
We’ve recently reported on how some Zoomers are bringing their hippie-era habits with them as they age. And now that marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington, some experts are predicting these states may become a hot spot for tourists.
Since both measures make possession of marijuana by anyone over the age of 21 – not just state residents – legal, the influx of tourists interested in openly and safely smoking is likely. They won’t be able to pack their paraphernalia to take with them, but as long as they purchase the pot while in state, they are not violating the measure.
Of course, this is only possible if the measures do end up taking effect – they could be overruled by the US Department of Justice who may claim federal supremacy over drug law.
While no one can be sure about that possibility yet, we do know that tourism is Colorado’s number 2 industry, thanks to its ski industry and the Rocky Mountains, and this development could likely push tourism into that number 1 spot.
Ski resorts in the state are watching the measure closely, as it would allow them to develop lounges similar to the pot cafes in Amsterdam.
There is overwhelming support for the measure in Colorado. Aspen county approved the measure 3 to 1, and 8 out of 10 approving in Telluride.
Meanwhile, in Washington, pot tourism is already a regular occurrence during Seattle’s annual Hempfest, which attracts 250,000 people to the city to enjoy smoking in public at the festival for three days without being bothered by police.
“People travel to Seattle from other states and countries to attend Seattle Hempfest every year to experience the limited freedom that happens at the event. It’s reasonable to assume that people will travel to Washington assuming that the federal government doesn’t interfere,” executive director Vivian McPeak told Canada.com.
Colorado’s measure bans public use of the drug, but the guidelines for commercial sale are not yet worked out. The current medical marijuana dispensaries can not allow on site use of the drug, but different rules could come about for recreational marijuana shops, which would allow for weed cafes.
The state’s liberal view on pot smoking isn’t new – the ski resort town of Breckenridge dropped criminal charges for using weed two years ago, and ski slopes across the state have “smoke shacks” where skiers can smoke out of the cold.