Editor: When will B.C. wake up and smell the roses? Almost daily I see news reports on American TV talking about the legal sales of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state, and the increase in tourism in those states.
Lately the talk has been about the hundreds of millions in tax revenue from the tax on sales of marijuana. This revenue is just a small percentage of the real revenue that is being raised.
Tourism is booming in both of those states. Over the past seven years, B.C. tourism has shown steady decline, largely due to excessive hotel room taxation, while Washington state is booming. Tourists of all demographics are pouring in to Washington and Colorado.
On Aug. 19, Alaska will vote on marijuana legalization and will no doubt join Washington and Colorado. I lived in Alaska for a few years. It is ultra-conservative and ultra-liberal at the same time.
Legalization in Alaska will only serve to make matters worse in B.C., as we will be surrounded by more popular tourism destinations. Maybe B.C. will want to collect some of the pot taxes as well.