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Intro to USA Marijuana Tourism in Colorado & Washington

Marijuana Tourism in the U.S. has never looked this promising in all its history. The passage of laws legalizing recreational marijuana usage in both Colorado and Washington 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 this fact.

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
The 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.

  • Cannabis Cultivation
Another 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
Labeling commercial marijuana and its corresponding potency will also be discussed by the task force as they continue tackling issues concerning its implementation.

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
Initiative 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 kilograms.

  • Smoking In Public And Driving
Imbibing 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.

Effects On Neighboring States

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 home.

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.


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