Colorado voters face Amendment 64 on their Nov. 6 ballots, a proposal to legalize marijuana and, in the words of its proponents, “regulate it like alcohol.”
Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson favors that as national policy, and speculates that Colorado could be the “first of 50 state dominoes to fall,” in a speech at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque on Oct. 9:
“And the reality is when everybody in the country gets on an airplane over the weekend to go to Denver to ‘chill out,’ that’s when the other 49 states fall in line with all of this.”
In other words, Colorado could become a marijuana tourist destination.
Colorado voters approval medical marijuana in 2000. A proliferation of dispensaries followed an Obama Administration policy in 2009 to leave enforcement to the states, followed by Colorado regulation in 2010.
Johnson’s optimism is based, in part, on Denver ballot initiatives in 2005 and 2007 that decriminalized possession, followed by Breckenridge in 2009.
Whether or not citizens of Colorado will fulfill Johnson’s predictions and welcome the entire state as the “Amsterdam of the Rockies” remains to be seen. The Netherlands, however, this year upheld restrictions on so-called “pot tourism,” according to The Washington Post from April.
“If this passes, Colorado would have the most liberal marijuana laws in the developed world, more liberal than the Netherlands,” said Tom Gorman, according to a Washington Post story this week. Gorman is identified as the director of the federal Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
Other marijuana legalization initiatives are on the ballot in Washington and Oregon.