Marijuana: Would Amendment 64 hurt or help Colorado tourism?
Update: A response from the official Amendment 64 campaign on the tourism question follows our original post, below.
Would Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, hinder Colorado tourism or boost it?
With election day finally here, there's still no consensus on the question. Note that Denver officials are on one side of the issue, while a presidential candidate and famous travel writer Rick Steves feel differently.
In an interview with our Sam Levin, Denver mayor Michael Hancock ripped Amendment 64 on a number of grounds, including a possible negative impact on tourism.
"We already have evidence that we are losing some of our ground or some of our attractiveness to conventioneers, tourists, because of the medical marijuana leeway that's been afforded in this city," he said.
Photo by Sam Levin Denver mayor Michael Hancock at a peace rally this summer.
These thoughts are echoed by Visit Denver's Richard Scharf. Last month, when Hancock came forward in opposition to Amendment 64, Scharf, the president and CEO of the tourism organization, released the following statement:
Tourism is the second largest industry in both Denver and Colorado. If Colorado receives international media attention as the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana in their constitution, Colorado's brand will be damaged and we may attract fewer conventions and see a decline in leisure travel.Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson couldn't disagree more.
Continue to read more about Amendment 64 and tourism.