Colorado and the problem with tourists.
Posted on March 08 2016
I’ve spent a fair of amount of time in Amsterdam. I first went when I was eighteen, and at the time it was my very own Utopia. I could buy marijuana, legally, and get as high as I wanted in a nice environment. Of course I was stupid and pushed the limits!
As I got older and (arguably) more sensible, I also found my tolerance levels increased. I was having to smoke more to get the same high, and even then, I guess I knew my limits a little better.
I remember speaking to a friend from Amsterdam and he said, quite bluntly, that they hated the tourists over there. Sure, they were bringing in the money and creating the jobs, but he also said it was only ever the tourists who were causing any problems. They needed them and hated them.
A few years later I went to another Dutch city called Utrecht. As I say, I was a little more mature by this point, and I knew my limits. The problem was, marijuana in Utrecht (where you didn’t get as many tourists) was an entirely different proposition to what I had grown accustomed to in Amsterdam. It was like that bit at the start of Reservoir Dogs where they talk about Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” as being a metaphor for big dicks. If you know what I’m talking about, then I’ll say I felt like I was getting fucked for the very first time. If you haven’t seen it, then I’ll just say that the quality of a spliff there was considerably greater.
“In Amsterdam they sell you tourist weed. It’s nowhere near as good quality,” said the guy working in the Coffee Shop.
Anyway, to get back to my headline, this started me thinking about Colorado, and whether there was a similar thing going on there. I found an article that led me to believe there was a certain similarity in terms of the influx of tourists.
"Emergency room visits related to cannabis use have increased more dramatically among out-of-state visitors than among Colorado residents," said lead investigator Dr. Howard Kim in a press release for a study on the matter. "This may indicate that out-of-state visitors are unprepared for the adverse effects of marijuana use.”
As you can see from the above graph, there is a tendency for tourists in Colorado to be the ones “over-doing” it. Now, I’m not saying that Colorado is anywhere near Amsterdam, but is there a danger of the locals developing a certain distaste for the tourists? I know the money tourism brings in will usually excuse anything, but as Colorado is one of the few states where recreational marijuana is legal, it does risk following a similar path. The ultimate downside of this would be the quality of marijuana actually decreasing as they develop their own “tourist weed.”