Colorado's Tourism Industry Is Definitely Seeing the Green Thanks to Legal Weed

People will travel far and wide for a safe high.

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Complex Original

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In a shocking scientific revelation, researchers are now claiming that people enjoy smoking weed. In fact, people love it so much, they're hopping over to Colorado on vacation for a safe and legal dabble in the green goods. Weed shops and related businesses in the state have often bragged about boosting the tourism industry, with actual proof of that seemingly obvious claim finally arriving this week in the form of a study commissioned by the Colorado Tourism Office.

The findings show that legal weed is most certainly a "growing motivator" for Colorado trips an impressive 49 percent of the time, the Denver Post reports. "I think it is rearing its head as a significant travel and tourism amenity for visitors coming to Colorado," Al White, a former leader of the state’s tourism office and current board member of a weed tourism company, said earlier this year.

Denise Miller, the survey’s director, argues that the current line of questioning may have missed the opinions of those who, for reasons no one can reasonably explain, choose to avoid Colorado entirely because of the high THC content:

I think definitely the laws are having an influence when people are considering Colorado. We can see that it's still not a large percentage in terms of what people are doing, but it's become more of a motivator for those who want to do it. It's certainly having some influence — both, I think, positive and negative — on that decision process.

That 49 percent statistical brag directly contradicts claims made by various tourism officials, who cited Colorado's ongoing "Come to Life" ad campaign as the driving force behind by record spending from vacationers over the past two years. Researchers from Strategic Marketing and Research Insights gave 33-question surveys to more than 3,000 tourists from "target markets" like Chicago, Dallas, and San Diego. 10 percent of respondents said they had vacationed in Colorado between April and September, with a seemingly low 8 percent of state visitors revealing they visited a weed shop at some point during their stay.

22 percent dubbed weed as "extremely influential" in their vacation decisions, with twenty percent less generously dubbing the totally safe plant as "very much influential" and another seven percent bestowing upon legal weed the honor of "somewhat influential." Of the eight percent who actually visited a shop, 85 percent said weed was a "primary motivator" for their travels, which is a remarkable 29 percent leap from last year’s numbers.

Though Nick Lachey and a host of others were pretty stoked on the possibility, Ohio recently became one of the latest states to bafflingly botch their own entry into the great wide world of legal weed. Better luck next time, Ohio. Maybe Bernie Sanderswill be able to help?

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