As our own Arthur Frommer pointed out recently, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado has increased the number of visits to the state—but not by as much as you might think, according to the Colorado Tourism Office.
At a conference this week, state officials announced the results of a survey conducted by a market research company that found just 12% of visitors reported stopping in at a marijuana dispensary while they were in Colorado. Additionally, 64% of those surveyed said that marijuana had no influence on their decision to visit the state, while only 5% said it was the main reason.
The survey also found that those who did choose to partake were just as active as those who didn't—engaging in sightseeing, festivals, museum tours, and so on.
But visiting tokers were 60% more likely to go to the emergency room than locals, possibly due to a lack of education about how to use the drug safely or a tendency to overindulge while on vacation.
As you consider these numbers, it's worth remembering that state officials have been reluctant to embrace the idea of marijuana tourism. Before we make conclusions about pot's true impact on Colorado travel, we could use some additional research from more disinterested parties.