DENVER - The Colorado Tourism Office says it will not be promoting legalized pot to bring visitors to the state.
"If somebody comes [to Colorado] because we've got the best skiing in America and decides to smoke pot while they're here, I guess that's what the amendment is all about," Colorado Tourism Office Director Al White told 9NEWS. "But it shouldn't be a primary reason, I don't think, for anybody to come."
White's comments came after the Amendment 64 task force recommended Tuesday to allow people from out of state to purchase limited amounts of pot in Colorado stores.
If the state adopts that policy, it would open the door to pot tourism.
Colorado voters adopted the idea that marijuana should be regulated like alcohol. It turns out that alcohol is treated quite well by state tourism officials.
Here's a state TV ad promoting craft breweries:
White didn't see any trouble treating alcohol and marijuana differently when it comes to promoting tourism.
"Beer drinking and craft beer is certainly a more socially acceptable activity than, generally speaking, smoking marijuana," White said. "Maybe those attitudes will change, but it's not going to be my office that's going to be out there seeking to change peoples' attitude about smoking pot and coming to Colorado for that purpose.
Some travel experts predict a huge influx of visitors to Colorado and Washington state because they've legalized pot.
"Expect a torrent of new tourism to Seattle and Denver," wrote travel guru Arthur Frommer.
Others have predicted a decline in convention bookings and general tourism because they don't want to be around marijuana.
Advocates who helped pass Amendment 64 are not upset that pot isn't going to become a part of Colorado's brand, at least not yet.
"I think that a number of people who come here already may use marijuana or decide that they want to try marijuana because they've used it before," said Christian Sederberg, who represents amendment backers on the Governor's task force. "As far as it being a massive destination [for pot], I just don't see that happening."
For now, pro-pot advocates are more concerned about regulation of the actual drug than they are about marketing.
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