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Intro to USA Marijuana Tourism in Colorado & Washington
the U.S. has never looked this promising in all its history. The passage of laws
legalizing recreational marijuana usage in both Colorado
last year has people contemplating about its effect on the tourism
industry. Some travel
blogs predict the two states will soon be promoting Amsterdam-style
entertainment soon. And this may be not far ahead down the road with the
developments of late.
Here’s a brief rundown on what has
happened the past two months with the two states mentioned.
Colorado Marijuana Tourism
Colorado voted for the
legalization of recreational marijuana November last year. The historic
amendment to the existing law covers local residents aged 21 and above. Amendment
64 removes sanctions on “party pot” as long it’s done in private and within the
state’s borders. The current law limits possession of the weed to no more than
an ounce for recreational purposes. Also, recreational marijuana will only be
sold on specialty retail stores licensed by the state and will be taxed.
A subsequent recommendation regarding
marijuana tourism by the
state marijuana task force will be submitted to lawmakers for review. This new
development will include tourists on the new provision to prevent black market
proliferation. The new measure according to State Representative Dan Pabon will
be used to eliminate black market trade of marijuana which is really the
primary objective of A-64.
Further measures are being
implemented to prevent tourist from loading up on the weed and taking it in a
state where marijuana is still illegal. This includes limiting the amount of
pot that can be purchased by out-of-state visitors. The task force also
recommends signs to be installed in borders and airports to remind tourists of
The effect of the new law on marijuana
tourism in Colorado is being downplayed by officials. Richard Scharf, head of
Denver tourism, even speculated that there might be a decline on travel due to
some negative effects on the “brand of the state”.
Other issues discussed and
remained unresolved include:
Smoking On Porches And Patios
issue of smoking pot on visible and open porches and patios is still ongoing
since the area in question is private property. Advocates reasoned out that
since drinking beers on the porch is legal, then so must be smoking pot. This
issue remain unsettled as of this writing.
issue that came up is regarding its cultivation. The task force is debating on
whether growing the weed will still require the enclosed and secure location
that was stated on the previous law. The previous law states that cultivation
of marijuana should be done on a locked location and out of public view. They
cannot agree if a fenced backyard will be sufficient or if a shed or greenhouse
will be needed.
Labeling commercial marijuana and its corresponding potency will
also be discussed by the task force as they continue tackling issues concerning
Whatever the final outcome will be
regarding the new amendment’s finer details, marijuana tourism on the state will be here to stay.
Washington Marijuana Tourism
Washington on the other hand, has voted
in favor of
Initiative 502 December last year. Just
like the A-64 of Colorado, I-502 removes the sanctions in using pot for personal
recreational use and applies to adults 21 years old and above. Listed below are some of the finer details of
this new law.
1 Ounce Limit
502 allows possession of marijuana for recreational use up to an ounce or 28.5
grams. Included on this provision is the possession of cannabis-infused goods
such as cookies or brownies up to a maximum amount of 16 ounces or 450 grams
while possession of weed in liquid form has a limit of 72 ounces or 2.4
Smoking In Public And Driving
pot in public and driving under the influence remains illegal just like alcohol
consumption and constitutes a ticket. This new law uses the alcohol model.
A generous grace period where
given by the police department though to offenders of the said new law in keeping
with the spirit of this momentous event. Around 100 people celebrated with pot
the passing of the bill near the foot of the famous Space Needle come midnight
when it officially took effect. Other instances included dismissal of scores of
marijuana possession misdemeanour by prosecutors from various counties as the
Initiative 502 finally passed.
Portland, neighbour state of
Washington, offered some helpful
advice to pot users from Oregon to refrain from driving stoned. Police
warned that though Oregon citizens can participate in the marijuana tourism and visit Washington anytime to smoke some weed,
they can be arrested with driving under the influence when pulled over going
One complication of this new law
is its contradiction with the existing federal law which states that marijuana
is an illegal substance. Washington neighboring states officials
predict that if the federal government do not attempt to intervene with this marijuana
tourism in Washington or if Washington itself fails to setup the clear
mechanics of the supply system, the Evergreen state will become the pot source
of users from Idaho and Oregon.
The epic marijuana legalization in
Colorado and Washington may have created a showdown between the state and
federal government on issues of drug use but this will surely boost
marijuana tourism. Assuming the
U.S. Department of Justice do not assert federal supremacy with respect to the drug
law, then the two states mentioned can expect enormous
business opportunities and revenues from cannabis sales, at least for the
first few years after full implementation.