Pot Tourism: Caribbean Islands Eyeing Legalizing Marijuana
Time magazine reported yesterday that the State of Colorado received $838,711 from a 2.9% tax on medical marijuana, meaning that patients spent an estimated $28.9 million at dispensaries. The state meanwhile raked in $2.97 million from a 10% sales tax on retail marijuana, putting those sales at about $29.7 million.
With Colorado raking in nearly $4 million/month, and the prospects of higher marijuana revenues in the future, tourism destinations are beginning to pay close attention.
Here’s this from Travel Agent Central:
“The debate surrounding marijuana tourism has taken a sharper focus in recent months following its legalization for recreational use by two U.S. states, including Colorado. Uruguay has also become the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume cannabis.
Since it became legal to smoke marijuana in Colorado at the start of the year, there have been several reports of a boom in arrivals from both within and outside the U.S. The Colorado office of state planning and budgeting reported $19 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana during the first half of the year, although it didn’t say how much of that was from tourism versus local buyers.
“The Caribbean has an interest in this subject, the Caribbean has an interest in attracting visitors to our shores, and so medical tourism, including the discussion about marijuana, is going to be one of the parts of the debate that we have,” said Hugh Riley, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s secretary general, in a written release. “One of the interesting aspects of that particular debate is looking at the medical evidence because it’s important that we do not look at one particular aspect. At the end of the day we have to make decisions that are in the best interest of the people of the Caribbean.”
For me, having something that has been illegal all my life, suddenly legal in some places, has me scratching the morality part of my brain. For example, if I lived in Colorado, would I smoke a joint once in a while in the privacy of my home? If something’s been wrong for me for 57 years, how can it suddenly be right? I certainly don’t have any morality issues with enjoying a nice Pinot Noir from time to time, and alcohol used to be illegal in this country. See the quandary?
Anyway, what are your thoughts? Is Pot Tourism a good thing? Twenty years from now, will we see pot legalized in most tourist destinations around the world? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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