November 9, 2012

Are you vacationing in Aspendam?

Did you ever take a holiday in Amsterdam to get to the legal — legalish — marijuana? Are vacations like that now within a car's drive for us once-puritannical Americans?
That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal supremacy over drug law.

So the future of marijuana tourism in Colorado and Washington is hazy....

Colorado’s tourism director, Al White, tried to downplay the prospect of a new marijuana tourism boom.

“It won’t be as big a deal as either side hopes or fears,” White said.
He's got to worry about the rich folks who'll be put off by the emerging pothead milieu. It won't be a big deal? Noted. Disbelieved!
The home county of Aspen approved the marijuana measure more than 3-to-1. More than two-thirds approved marijuana in the home county of Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail. The home county of Telluride ski resort gave marijuana legalization its most lopsided victory, nearly 8 in 10 favoring the measure.
Apparently, these resorts are already a pothead milieu.
“Some folks might come to Colorado to enjoy some marijuana as will be their right. So what?” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the Colorado marijuana campaign.
Some folks. Some folks who are not the folks who worry about federal law, which is just there to scare the kind of people who feel intimidated even by laws that are not enforced.

But it looks like the feds might try to prevent the states from ending the state-law limitations on marijuana, which seems like the easy alternative to just enforcing the federal law. Legally, however, it's not easy at all. The federal government can't require the states to do federal law enforcement. That was established years ago after Congress tried to make local law enforcement official do background checks on people buying handguns.

64 comments:

Surfed said...

I'll repeat my query to Lefties on this thread also: States Rights (legal drugs) vs Federal Givernments (illegal drugs). In for a penny in for a pound. A different way to look at "Confederated" States.

phx said...

He's got to worry about the rich folks who'll be put off by the emerging pothead milieu.

Maybe rich folks like a little legal weed now and then.

leslyn said...

As the governor said: "Don't break out the cheetos."

AprilApple said...

Rich libtards like to ski while high.

Rusty said...

DOW down again this morning.

I need to talk to the Dust Bunny Queen.

leslyn said...

Surfed, you may not like to hear this but if MJ were regulated and taxed, a lot of good could result.

Bartender Cabbie said...

They could just ignore federal law and arrest DEA and other assorted types for disturbing the peace when they come calling to bother the local potheads.
That would be great television. Television worth watching.

Palladian said...

If you've ever been to Amsterdam, you will have noticed that cities which become drug and prostitution vacation destinations usually turn into shitholes.

AprilApple said...

"DOW down again." I am so angry with myself that I did not sell before the election.
The bottom is going to drop. We have nothing but Obama's debt and nothing to show for it. Maybe the fed can print more money?
I don't want to participate in Obama's corrupt faux-recovery.

Solyndra/Pat Stryker 2016.

prairie wind said...

Legalizing drugs has the important effect of cutting government spending. The fewer people we imprison for non-violent crimes, the less money we spend on the prison industry. Prisons are expensive. Veronique de Rugy:

Nonviolent drug offenders now account for about one-fourth of all inmates in the United States, up from less than 10 percent in 1980. The costs, of course, are staggering: State correctional spending now totals $52 billion a year, consuming one out of 14 general fund dollars; spending on corrections is the second fastest growth area of state budgets, following Medicaid.

The real tragedy is that so many children’s lives are destroyed along with those of their incarcerated parents. Over 50 percent of inmates are parents with minor children, including more than 120,000 mothers and 1.1 million fathers. One in every 28 children has a parent incarcerated, up from 1 in 125 just 25 years ago. Two-thirds of these children’s parents were incarcerated for nonviolent offenses.

Surfed said...

@Leslyn - I came of age in the 60's. I smoked more Colombian Gold and Panamanian Red back in the day than 3 Snoop Dawgs combined. i was a very longhaired hippie surfer wandering the planet in search for the coolest waves and the tastiest buzz. Played a bit of guitar along the way too...

Patrick said...

Surfed, you may not like to hear this but if MJ were regulated and taxed, a lot of good could result.

Well, maybe not a lot of good, but less bad. Among the reasons I support states decriminalizing is that (I hope) eventually this will "trickle up" so the Feds will at least lay off. I don't think pot use is good for society, but it's not that bad either, and there is no way on earth that the Federal prisons should have anyone locked up for possession. It's just stupid.

Levi Starks said...

States to Fed: You don't care to enforce emigration laws?, and tell us that we can't legally do your job for you?
Well heres the deal, how about you just keep your jack booted thugs out of our state.

Amy said...

Went to Amsterdam with my 2 college age kids back in 2003 or so. Had a great time. They, especially, really loved it. I didn't notice it being 'a shithole' at all.
After the murder of Theo Van Gogh, don't think I'd go again.
But great art museums and wonderful public trans. And those coffee houses.....

prairie wind said...

It took a constitutional amendment to prohibit alchohol. How did we end up with a simple federal law prohibiting marijuana?

TMink said...

States' Rights folks should be quite happy with this trend. I am. The people of those states spoke about the laws they want and they should be accepted and enforced. Same thing with the states that voted for gay marriage, great for them, the people spoke and the feds should listen.

As for pot tourism, whenever anyone uses public money to build a sports facility they always sell the idea with sports tourism. Pot tourism would be better as the product costs the state nothing, it will actually generate income, and reduce the jail population.

Win, win, win so far as I can see.

Trey

Levi Starks said...

I do feel a little sorry for state and local police officers who have spent countless hours being trained in the fine art of identifying "shake" that they find in the carpet of your floorboards after another otherwise fruitless search for drugs, or if they're really lucky cash.

Patrick said...

The one frickin hope I had for the President was that he'd ease up on the drug stuff, especially pot.

Worked out about as well as everything else.

Surfed said...

The Confederate States of Weed. catchy that...Now all we need is a symbolic Ft. Sumter and a P.T. Beaureguard to touch off the first shot.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

The lessons we have learned, while high on THC, include:

Evil wins.

The more rape talk, the better. As in "The warcunt Hillary, General of the Army Against Women, will profligate genocide on ALL SINGLE WOMEN." Look at what Hillary has done to supplicate herself to Bill: why wouldn't she murder any girl who doesn't follow in her shoes?

Our lesson to the stupids for 2014 and 2016 must be Democrats kill women via genocide, which is WORSE THAN WAR.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

"Hamsterdam" was featured prominently in "The Wire."

madAsHell said...

if MJ were regulated and taxed, a lot of good could result.

Bullshit!

I'm here in Washington. They promoted marijuana legalization by saying "it's for the children", and "we need it for the schools".

They said the EXACT SAME THING about legalizing a lottery 20 years ago, but the money NEVER goes to the schools. We still have a yearly school levy.

When we raise taxes it is for the children, and when we cut taxes we eliminate police and fire.

You are too stupid to see this.

Full disclosure: I have smoked a lot of pot, and I am still known to "light one up" on occasion. The law won't change my behavior. In fact, I'll go out of my way to find moonshine pot.

Oddly, the best buds come from BC!!

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Hillary and Joe Biden rape-fuck all women of a generation to death.

Repeat this 4 billion times between now and 2014 and we win!

We win!

We win!

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe rich folks like a little legal weed now and then."

I'm sure some do, but the travel industry would like to attract the ones who buy things in restaurants and shops, not the ones who interact with home-growers.

Levi Starks said...

"but the travel industry would like to attract the ones who buy things in restaurants and shops"

You mean like Taco's and Bongs?

MadisonMan said...

Just what a ski patrol wants the hear about: Altered skiiers.

Ah well. Darwin.

Levi Starks said...

All this loose talk about what we did in our youth back in the day makes me nervous. I can nether confirm nor deny that I was ever stationed in WA state while in the Navy back in the 70's

Marshal said...

Some folks. Some folks who are not the folks who worry about federal law, which is just there to scare the kind of people who feel intimidated even by laws that are not enforced.

It seems to me there is an effect of federal criminalization, it gives businesses the freedom to set their own policy. Right now if you want to drug test as a condition of employment you can. If drugs become legal that freedom will be challenged and probably lost. Consider how the end of ciminalizing sodomy, another law virtually never enforced, led to gay marriage. Once you lose the legal distinction our system forces all else to conform.

Maybe if we allowed businesses their freedom we'd be able to offer individuals theirs.

prairie wind said...

They said the EXACT SAME THING about legalizing a lottery 20 years ago, but the money NEVER goes to the schools. We still have a yearly school levy.

When we raise taxes it is for the children, and when we cut taxes we eliminate police and fire.


Just because stupid arguments are used doesn't mean there aren't good arguments out there. Keeping people at home where they can earn a living and care for their family instead of sending them to prison...that's a good argument. Cutting spending in the prisons...that's a good argument. Eliminating the gang violence in the illicit drug industry...that's a good argument.

Raising taxes? Always a bad argument. Sorry you fell for that one.

Chip Ahoy said...

I got some. Colorado. Due to my naturally occurring irrepressible charm the ladies gave me some and I must say, it is not the same thing at all, it's a whooooole 'nuther ballgame. I took two puffs and it laid me out flat. Could. Not. Move. For hours. Real bad paranoia all over the place. Fear someone would knock at the door and I'd have to answer it. Then it went away. Not one bit fun. And that was that.

prairie wind said...

Just what a ski patrol wants the hear about: Altered skiiers.

Yes. The current laws make sure that no one skis under the influence, don't they?

caplight45 said...

So the Professor informs us that it is settled law that the Feds can't make the States enforce federal law. The States who tried to enforce Federal law deemed inconvenient to the long term interests of the Democrat Party (Arizona and immigration)were prohibited from doing do. So now we might have a case where the States won't do the Feds enforcement bidding. Karma?

phx said...

I'm sure some do, but the travel industry would like to attract the ones who buy things in restaurants and shops, not the ones who interact with home-growers.

Rich people who like a little weed now and then wouldn't also like to buy things in restaruants and shops?
Pshaw.

phx said...

Consider how the end of ciminalizing sodomy, another law virtually never enforced, led to gay marriage.

You can't make this shite up.

Pete said...

Tourists with children will not visit areas where the locals - or tourists without children - are high. So there go the tourist dollars of Aspen, Vail, and Telluride.

But, no fear, in Obama's America, this will be the Republican's fault and require more government spending to help the "unfortunate." Mind you, it won't be a hand out but a hand up.

Marshal said...

phx said...
Consider how the end of criminalizing sodomy, another law virtually never enforced, led to gay marriage.

You can't make this shite up.


It's funny watching the drama queens claim faux outrage over making a non-controversial process comparison. Especially those who pose as the arbiters of reason.

Mary said...

"Tourists with children will not visit areas where the locals - or tourists without children - are high. So there go the tourist dollars of Aspen, Vail, and Telluride. "


Try DisneyWorld/Land.
With an aging population, and children who grow up, plus plenty of places to ski out West, I think the industry will survive the loss of children on the slopes.

bagoh20 said...

The secret to successful drug use is the same as all other enjoyable behaviors:
Remember the law of diminishing marginal utility.

bagoh20 said...

"Tourists with children will not visit areas where the locals - or tourists without children - are high."

Ok, so that leaves police stations, and nunneries. Happy holidays!

Paco Wové said...

I have a hard time imagining stoned skiers would be more of a hazard than drunk skiers.

Michael said...

There is no possible way that this could be a negative for travel and tourism in Aspen, Telluride or Vail. There are no cheap places to stay, relatively speaking, in any of those places. The die hard dopers already buy dope in their home towns so they don't have to travel to get it. These are towns for rich people and those that make it nice for them to be rich and happy and fit and, above all, sanctimonious. There is nothing bad that will come of this other than people making a little more money off the rich people who will be less inhibited.

Michael said...

As they say in Aspen: "This is the Roaring Fork Valley you can have anything you want."

jimbino said...

The Marshal of Aspen announced way back in the 80s that he wasn't enforcing the marijuana ban.

edutcher said...

I see whole new vistas for the Darwin Awards. These people will be driving, whacked out at work (designing or assembling your car), and all kind of cool stuff.

And for the "I'm smart 'cause I can spell Darwin on the ballot" crowd, they're gonna learn all about evolution. Marijuana's worse than tobacco and damages one's chromosomes.

leslyn said...

Surfed, you may not like to hear this but if MJ were regulated and taxed, a lot of good could result.

Yeah, far fewer Lefties in a generation.

phx said...

It's funny watching the drama queens claim faux outrage over making a non-controversial process comparison

Who's claiming faux outrage? I thought your post was pure comedy. :-D

Marshal said...

phx said...
It's funny watching the drama queens claim faux outrage over making a non-controversial process comparison

Who's claiming faux outrage? I thought your post was pure comedy. :-D


The simple fact that something losing it's criminal status prevents society from making non-legal distinctions between it and other behaviors is funny?

Literally unbelievable.

garage mahal said...

I worked in Vail (Beaver Creek) when I was 20, and I can tell you there was plenty of weed available to anyone who wanted it back in the mid 80s.

mikee said...

Two words that make a federal effort on Colorado pot smokers worth the trouble: Asset Forfeiture.

Got pot in your Aspen ski chalet? The feds will take both, thank you very much.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Hamsterdam" was featured prominently in "The Wire."

In another generation or so, Hamsterdam is where Americans will go to enjoy the bacon they're not allowed to buy here.

Rabel said...

What happens when the legal marijuana people collide with the second hand smoke people?

1. A contact buzz.
2. A lawsuit.

chickelit said...

The Law giveth and the Law taketh away: link

Interesting that no one wants to discuss Amsterdam or Zurich.

The honey pot effect always does in these sorts of social experiments.

K in Colorado said...

I can see it now, Denver will allow pot smoking inside the bar area of a restaurant, but smoking a cigar with your after dinner drink will still be outlawed.

K in Colorado said...

I forgot to add, Obama probably won Colorado because of all the pot smoking crowd that went to the polls to vote for this who otherwise wouldn't have bothered. I saw a post last night that number of yes votes for this was more than the votes Obama received. Now if they would just have been smoking before they went to vote, then maybe enough of them would have accidentally voted for Romney.

Steve Koch said...

Legalizing pot at the state level is a great issue to educate some on the left about the value of federalism.

Aside from the federalism issue, I am for legalizing marijuana. Putting people in jail for smoking or selling marijuana seems crazy to me. It also is wreaking havoc in Mexico and funneling huge amounts of money to Mexico.

Legalizing marijuana and tax it.

K in Colorado said...

I think you will find that a large number of Republicans feel the same way - decriminalize it, regulate and tax it. Let the police be able to use their limited resources on something else. Full disclosure, I voted against it because of concern over ease of getting pot in middle school. When my son was in 8th grade, there was a student selling pot at the middle school. The kid's source? His older brother who worked at a medical marjiuana dispensary.

Dante said...

Even if the law is overturned, they can just do an Obama and not enforce the law.

prairie wind said...

Let the police be able to use their limited resources on something else.

Ha! "Limited resources." Funniest thing I've seen all day.

Also, if your kid can already get pot at middle school, I'd say that keeping it illegal doesn't really help you, does it? If it is already widely available, why not make it legal? That way, if your kid experiments with it, he won't be going to prison.

Dante said...

Come on, Ann, the statute of limitations is over.

Are you an ex Hippie pot smoker?

purplepenquin said...

Marijuana's worse than tobacco

Are you claiming that tobacco isn't deadly or that marijuana is?

Eric said...

Some folks who are not the folks who worry about federal law, which is just there to scare the kind of people who feel intimidated even by laws that are not enforced.

Yeah, until it's you in the holding cell. These kinds of things represent the end of the rule of law. Like the poor guy who became the scapegoat for the attack in Benghazi, these laws won't be enforced until you do something the government doesn't like. Welcome to China.

Revenant said...

Pretty much everyone who wants to smoke marijuana, does. It is easy to get. The arrest rate for users is something like 1% a year -- which still works out to a lot of arrests, of course. For middle-class white smokers, it is much lower.

Nobody is going to flock to Aspen to get high. They can easily get high right where they currently live.

Revenant said...

Marijuana's worse than tobacco

That's just silly.

Eric said...

Marijuana's worse than tobacco

It is on a PPM basis, so you'd get cancer faster if you smoked two packs of cannabis cigarettes a day than two packs of tobacco cigarettes a day.

But that's not realistic, is it? Pot smokers don't smoke anywhere near the same volume as tobacco smokers.

jimbino said...

I've never had a smokeless Alice B. Toklas tobacco brownie.