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A major argument for the legalization of marijuana is that is a great benefit for the economy, but those against marijuana claim that this is false. However, the statistics do not lie; a report from the Denver Post states that a study conducted by the Colorado Tourism Office revealed that almost fifty percent of those who visited Colorado did so because of the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Overall, the tourism board of Colorado put over $5.3 million on an ad campaign called “Come to Life” this summer to attract tourists to the state. However, there was no mention of cannabis on any of the print, television, billboard, or digital ads. The ad campaign apparently brought in 2.1 million leisure trips, which generated $2.6 billion for Colorado. Even better, for every dollar spend on the vacation promotion in 2015, $490 was generated, while every dollar generated just $344 in 2014.

Of course, it is not likely that all of the extra tourism has come from marijuana sales, but we can conclude that a good portion of it is. The survey states that only 8% of participants actually went to a legal marijuana shop in Colorado while on vacation. The same survey in 2014 showed another eight percent going to marijuana shops. Also, in 2014, 29% of the 8% who visited a marijuana shop claim to have visited Colorado for marijuana. In 2015, though, 85% of the 8% said they came to Colorado for marijuana. This shows that some of the positive economic impact seen in Colorado can be attributed to marijuana.

The researchers who conducted the study highlighted that there was a mix of positive and negative impacts, though. But, in the end, results show that marijuana is bringing in tourists to Colorado as well as other recreational states as well.


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