Pot tale of the week

Some critics of ballot Question Two, which would regulate legal marijuana, are claiming that it would damage the “gaming” industry and tourism.

The board of the Nevada Resort Association, a gambling lobby organization, has voted to oppose Two. (It also unanimously voted to support the corporate welfare Stadium in Clark County.)

Minden prohibitionist lawyer Jim Hartman sent a letter to the editor out to newspapers arguing, “The negative risks to the gaming industry for being in conflict with federal marijuana law caused the Nevada Resorts Association to announce opposition to Q2 as well.” Hartman does not specify what “negative risks” means.

In all likelihood, Nevada casinos—which have enormous clout in the state—can take care of themselves. As for the tourism industry, the best indications are that it will benefit from Two. The Denver Post recently reported on the development in Colorado of “marijuana tourism”:

“A study commissioned by the Colorado Tourism Office and presented to the office’s board of directors on Wednesday shows legal weed as a growing motivator for trips to Colorado—conflicting with the mantra of tourism officials statewide that savvy marketing alone is responsible for record visitation and spending in the past two years. … 22 percent of survey respondents said marijuana was ‘extremely influential’ in their decision to visit Colorado. Twenty percent said it was ‘very much influential’ and nearly 7 percent said it was ‘somewhat influential’.”

Marijuana got them to the state, but, while there, only eight percent actually visited a marijuana dispensary, so other sites—Pike’s Peak, Vail, the Rockies—likely benefited.

Meagan Angus of Seattle Weekly recently wrote of Washington’s tourism gains in an article for Las Vegas Weekly:

“All told, cannabis has created more than 5,000 well-paying jobs here. Moreover, the Pacific Northwest is on the verge of becoming the ‘wine-country’ for weed consumers, with cannabis tourism on the rise. All in all, legalization has been a boon to Washington, and I expect it will be for Nevadans too—provided you do it right.”