Saturday, December 01, 2012

Will "contact high" be the only thing Wyoming gets out of Colorado's Amendment 64?

Many are wondering if the passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado will have any effect on Wyoming. All of us in the southeast part of the state may get a "contact high" from second-hand smoke blowing in from Fort Collins. The wind has to be blowing just right, of course. And not too hard, lest Scottsbluff and Kimball over in Nebraska have all the fun. But what else?

Meg Lanker-Simons explored the topic on last night's "Cognitive Dissonance" radio show broadcast from Laramie (and now available online). And Westword in Denver opined this week on the tourism impacts of legal marijuana. The lead editorial wondered if it was a coincidence that Visit Denver just launched a massive "Denver Mile High Christmas" advertising campaign. Westword proposed a few other tongue-in-cheek cannabis-based tourism schemes, one of which involved Wyoming:
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!
Read more here. Westword asks its readers to send their ideas to

Wyoming should find its own unique ways to draw what may become a steady stream of young, pot-friendly tourists. First step might be our own Amendment 64. Face it, enforcing antiquated marijuana laws is a waste of time and resources. Wyoming was one of the first states to criminalize marijuana back before 1917. It could be among the first to decriminalize it. After all, if Colorado Libertarians and Greens and right-winger Tom Tancredo all can agree on Amendment 64, couldn't our Libertarian-leaning Republican Legislature do the same? This morning's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle carried a front-page story about looming budget cuts and calls by our governor to diversify our economy that's over-dependent on fossil fuels. So let's diversify. Legalize pot and tax it. Let the money flow! And the tourists. We can become Amsterdam (without the prostitutes) on Crow Creek, with pot bars and brewpubs inhabiting all of those empty downtown spaces. Fleets of funky food trucks cruising Lincolnway!

There are downsides. Abuses will occur. People will drive stoned and get in wrecks. They will get high and fall asleep at the table. Convenience stores will report shortages of Cheetos and Goldfish. People will show up late for work. Reefer madness!

Consider what we now get with alcohol-fueled tourism during Cheyenne Frontier Days. People drive drunk and get into wrecks. They get plastered, puke and pass out in the gutter. Convenience stores report shortages of beef jerky and Skoal. People miss a whole week of work. And don't forget the fights. Lots and lots of alcohol-related fights. Stoners aren't known for fisticuffs.

Think about it, Wyoming.

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