In November, when the States of Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use, neighboring States began to fear a new type of tourism to the area called “pot tourism”. Neighboring Oregon has some of the most liberal medical marijuana laws in the country. Even simple possession id basically decriminalized. Yet now the residents of Oregon will be able to drive over the border and legally buy pot with out any type prescription.
States like Idaho, which border Washington are surrounded by medical marijuana States and now even a recreational State. But Idaho still criminalizes all forms of pot possession even for medical use. Possession of less than three ounces of marijuana in Idaho is punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison.
So what do University students in Moscow, Idaho which is only 70 miles from the Washington border may be able to drive the hour and a half into Washington and purchase as much marijuana as they want and try to bring it back over the border.
Law Enforcement agencies in Idaho are fearing an additional strain on their resources. The additional pot possession arrests may lead to more jail space being constructed and additional police vigilance at a time where State budgets are being stretched to the max.
“Pot tourism” may also turn into a budding business for even those that do not indulge in an occasional toke. There are rumors that certain travel agencies are going to be offering pot tourism packages which will bring out of state residents into the pot hot spots in order to enjoy their wares just like in Amsterdam.
The laws governing the recreational use of marijuana are still almost a year away. The governments of Colorado and Washington have until next November to put the systems in place that will govern how the laws are implemented. It will be then that the real question of pot tourism will be answered.