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Thanks to Amendment 64, Colorado tourism should be a mile high

The passage of Amendment 64 had barely been projected — making Colorado the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, even if it's officially "regulated like alcohol" — when the texts started arriving at the Westword office. "Moving to Colorado, bro," said one. "Dude," exhaled another.

For a city that so prides itself on attracting that elusive, and important, 25-to-34-year-old demographic, the vote was an eco-devo bonanza...even if booster groups initially decided to downplay the role that marijuana tourism might have in Colorado. "I know many of you will hear from clients, customers and media with questions about how this will impact tourism," Richard Scharf, the president of Visit Denver, wrote his organization's members two days after the election. "At this point, there are so many uncertainties that it is impossible to make any comments or predictions on how this issue will ultimately play out.... In the short term, the important thing for visitors to know is that as of today, the sale or possession of marijuana is still illegal in the City & County of Denver and the State of Colorado and is also subject to enforcement under Federal law as a Schedule I controlled substance.... We will continue to market and brand Denver as we always have, as one of the nation's top convention and leisure destinations."

And then the City of Denver and Visit Denver promptly rolled out a million-dollar tourism marketing campaign touting Denver in December under this heading: "Denver Mile High Holidays."

Dude!

Although there was no mention of marijuana in the official announcement of the campaign — which is reaching into 24 markets with radio and television ads, as well as direct mail, billboards and social media — there might as well have been. After all, you can't turn on a late-night TV show without catching a reference to a real Rocky Mountain high. And in the tiny town of Stoner, in a canyon ten miles east of Dolores, Mayor Frank McDonald is getting ready to open a bed-and-breakfast known as Mary Jane's at Stoner. And yes, there really is a Mary Jane who lives on the property.

Now that McDonald is getting things rolling, as it were, Denver boosters are missing a bet if they don't light up a few other pot-related tourist attractions. For example...

Put a duty-free exchange station just off I-25 at the border of Colorado and Wyoming, where Coloradans can trade pot for fireworks and vice-versa. It's a smoking deal!

Forget Top Chef, even if Colorado still has two contestants on the tenth season of that reality show. If the state really wants to cook, it should sponsor Toke Chef as one of the attractions at our own inaugural Festival of Food and Cannabis, complete with demos that pair celebrity chefs with celebrity stoners to offer lessons on cooking with pot. Samples definitely included.

Plant pick-your-own agritourism farms around the state, with hayrides and face-painting for the kids. Could it really be a coincidence that the Colorado Tourism Office and the Colorado Department of Agriculture are currently hosting regional agritourism meetings around the state? From 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 29, they'll be holding court at at History Colorado — where they could really make some history.

Create a real back-country bacchanal. For decades, skiers and boarders have left the slopes to visit the illicit smokeshacks that stoners have erected in the woods. Sure, it may seem mercenary to turn these monuments to camaraderie into money-grubbing attractions, but guided tours of these smokeshacks, complete with transportation and snacks, would create a real Rocky Mountain high. (And if snow continues to be disappointing, we can turn it into a hiking tour.)

Name the zoo's next two polar bears Cheeto and Goldfish.

Have ideas of your own? Send them to us at editorial@westword.com.

 
My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
mediabeing
mediabeing

Where do I sign? Actually, I'll stay living where I am - I prefer the warmer weather -  but I figure I'd make a fine tour guide. 

 

sbarosro
sbarosro

"Moving to Colorado, bro." No, bro. Call me a nationalist. I don't care. I smoke, but I don't want legion of trustifarians from the east coast invading at the same time... Us natives are becoming increasingly lonesome as it is. It's changing here.

Sedonasherpa
Sedonasherpa

Folks...This commercial sales is going to be the downfall of the 64 !   You push too hard the DEA is going to come into Colorado like the FBI Swat team killing family on the Ridge called Ruby!  The amendment might get a foot-hold if it was just legal to consume on private property...But does anyone think the Gov clowns are going to sit idle with all the big Phrama lobbyist money - While Denver becomes Denverdam and the sale of Oxy drops 40%?

Just like California going too far with the med cards...and the follow-on DEA raids on many medical dispenceries...This will provoke a response.

Sedonasherpa
Sedonasherpa

Weld County DA says he is going forward on misdemeanor pot possession cases!

This is the classic DA looking for a podium...Activism...anything for some spotlight to boost the profile. The sad reality is, this activism by civil servants is costly and may become a civil rights lawsuit. If it's legal - It's LEGAL ! Deal with it.

woodsnake4462838
woodsnake4462838

Aren't there "CABS" available?? Why is this an issue? What is the threshold for people that are stoned on prescription drugs?

CloudGang
CloudGang

We Live In Lamar, S.E. Colorado. Twenty miles From Kansas,Thirty From O.K.C.

Donky We Will Keep You Informed On Our Profits And How Many Federal Agents We Run Into.

And Socialism Sucks Like Big Govt.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc

Even easier than shipping marijuana out of Colorado under the old 'medical marijuana' system.  Now residents of other states can just come here.  This will lead to better quality, more availability, and more range of price and variety of fine mountain grown cannabis.  I'm personally waiting for the 420 Movie Theater where you can bring in a bong and choose from 24 different theaters to toke and view Colorado style.  Best of all, all the tax revenue will help the children.

wtfk
wtfk

This was posted tomorrow? I'm a hip time traveller!

ierndit
ierndit

@sbarosro Which Native American tribe do you belong to? Every time I see a Native sticker I want to throw up. Nationalism is a disease that separates us as human beings. 

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator editortopcommenter

@sbarosro  

I'd love to publish your comment in our print edition, ideally with your full name. Let me know if that's possible at patricia.calhoun@westword.com.

melekalikimaka
melekalikimaka

@Sedonasherpa  He was with "Smart Colorado" a no on 64 group. He's just following the law as far as he's concerned rather than the county's money he's spending on the prosecution.

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator editortopcommenter

@tutonehcc  

i'd love to publish this in our print edition, ideally with your full name. If that's okay, e-mail me at patricia.calhoun@westword.com

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

" Shipping marijuana out of Colorado .... " 

Where do the ships port that transport 

our fine grown marijuana across the country ?

Sloans Lake ?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@wtfk  I read it last week .

I'm a hipper' time traveler .....

 
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