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October 18, 2012

"Colorado marijuana-legalization measure raises question of pot tourism"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable new piece in the Denver Post.  Here are excerpts:

Colorado's legalization of limited possession of marijuana — if voters approve it this November — would bring the attention of the nation to the state, both sides of the issue agreed Wednesday.  Where they disagreed, though, is whether that attention would be a good thing.

In a debate..., Amendment 64 opponent Happy Haynes said the measure would attract illegal-drug dealers, hurt Colorado's brand among businesses and bring in unwanted marijuana tourists.  Proponent Betty Aldworth saw it differently, saying there is no evidence the measure would harm the state's business climate and that any marijuana-motivated visitors would be welcome.  "Those are tourism dollars, are they not?" Aldworth asked.

Haynes said the state should be more discriminating.  "The idea that any dollars that we get are OK, I'm not in favor of swelling our state coffers ... with money because people are getting high," she said.

Haynes said those types of regulations would draw not only tourists, but black-market dealers looking to operate under the cover of the state's marijuana laws. "Colorado will just become a magnet for pot dealers," she said. Haynes said businesses would be reluctant to move to the state if it is known for marijuana.

Aldworth, though, said regulation would make it easier to identify those acting illegally. And she disputed suggestions that Colorado's image would suffer if voters pass Amendment 64.  "The notion that Colorado's brand would be negatively impacted by Amendment 64 is not supported by any careful analysis," she said. "It's 'Reefer Madness' scare tactics."

October 18, 2012 at 08:39 AM | Permalink


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Good news for the economy of Colorado, then. And I guess Haynes wants to see Coors leave the state, since he's so opposed to the state's coffers being filled by people who want to get high.

Posted by: C.A.J. | Oct 18, 2012 9:49:00 AM

Lower the age of consent to 10. That too will brng in "tourism dollars" of a sort.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 18, 2012 10:38:43 AM

"Rocky Mountain High" will take on a new meaning.

Posted by: albeed | Oct 18, 2012 11:47:14 AM

"...would attract illegal-drug dealers, hurt Colorado's brand among businesses and bring in unwanted marijuana tourists."

Happy Haynes' arguments/fears sound as airheaded as his name implies

Posted by: Tom | Oct 18, 2012 1:07:58 PM

This is where the marijuana legalization debate gets complicated. Happy Haynes (opposing the bill) is the democratic candidate. She has exquisite educational credentials, BA Barnard-Columbia and an MPP from U of Colorado.

The governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper and Denver mayor Michael Hancock - also democrats also oppose the bill.

Tom Tancredo the republican congressman from Colorado endorses the bill. There is an article on Salon by David Sirota discussing this issue. The question is - will endorsing legalization help republican candidates. The answer seems to be yes - at least in this state.

Posted by: beth | Oct 18, 2012 1:28:54 PM

beth --

I'm always leery when folks who have absolutely no use for the Republican Party give advice they claim would be helpful to the Republican Party.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 18, 2012 3:49:45 PM

Hi Bill, If you're talking about me, it doesn't apply. I could go down memory lane and recount various photo shots with republicans, but I'll spare you.

I was simply reporting about the situation in Colorado. The candidates who are supporting the proposition are talking about it and debating it. Democrats are feeling threatened by the pro legalization republicans. I don't know if this was a campaign tactic, but perhaps.

It is making the democrats nervous. It would be cleaner if political parties could depend on all their supporters to be ideologically in step, but the human condition precludes it.

Posted by: beth | Oct 18, 2012 4:46:52 PM

beth --

No, I wasn't talking about you, and was referring instead to David Sirota, the author of the Salon piece that suggests Republicans will be helped by supporting legalization. Sorry for not having made that more clear.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 18, 2012 5:27:09 PM

That's ok - Beth

Posted by: beth | Oct 18, 2012 9:55:02 PM

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