The state of Washington made a landmark decision in November 2012. Besides reelecting President Obama for a second term, the folks here in the NW corner legalized marijuana for public consumption for people 21 and older. This is potentially the first volley in a battle for pot tourism that could easily be a billion-dollar industry. While things are still being sorted out in terms of how the new laws will regulate the buzz business, Seattle is poised to lead the charge as a doper destination in the not-to-distant future.
Things are already in play here. You can't walk down the street without wafts of ganga drifting into the atmosphere. There are popular areas downtown that are attracting the attention of pot smokers even as the legality of public use is hotly debated down in Olympia.
I can see "coffee shops" in the tradition of their Amsterdam counterparts, lining certain streets in pot-friendly districts, easily accessed by tourists. I'm giving Seattle a year to figure it out, and then I'll go after this "pot tourism" crowd with the same high-tech tenacity Amazon (HQ here) applies to retail. I'm talking hotels, bars, restaurants—all catering to the mellow marijuana tourists from, well, everywhere. Wait and see! Denver will surely be bonging on Seattle's door for this trade. It is, after all, the mile-high city...
P.S. The trees in the photo—REAL. No Photoshop. All-natural art in the Emerald City. Soon to be more green and maybe a little blue for all the obvious reasons.