Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Forget Amsterdam — Marijuana Tourism may Take Off in Seattle and Aspen

With the future of Amsterdam's legendary coffee shops up in the air, will marijuana tourism in Colorado and Washington take up the slack for Americans looking for a legal toke?

It's one of the possible unintended consequences of the states legalizing pot, the Sandusky Register reports. While tourist officials in Aspen downplay the possibility of the city becoming "Aspendam," as some are saying tongue in-cheek, ski resorts are quietly investigating the possibility to adding adults-only cannabis lodges.

Seattle's "Hempfest" draws 250,000 visitors to the event, and are left alone, for the most part, by local law enforcement and city officials.

Now that pot is legal in Washington, even larger numbers are expected. Vivian McPeak, the event's executive director, said, "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.

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, whose jurisdiction includes Aspen, takes a tolerant attitude toward the possibility of pot tourism.

"For me, it's going to be live and let live. If people want to come to Colorado because pot is legal — and that's the sole reason — it's up to them. I am not the lifestyle police," he said.

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