Colorado may have been the first state to legalize marijuana for adults 21-years of age and older, but that does not mean that everyone will promote it. Officials of Denver International recently eliminated permission for vendors to sell marijuana merchandise on airport property. They believe that allowing businesses to sell such items would give Colorado a bad image.
“We don’t want marijuana to be the first thing our visitors experience when they arrive.”
Reported Heath Montgomery, an airport representative.
Colorado and Washington State both legalized the use of marijuana in 2012, but the Denver Airport already had a ban on sales of such items prior to legalization of the controversial substance.
Business-owners who wish to sell marijuana related products in the airport are considering a lawsuit against the airport for discrimination. They say that there are product sales and signs about breweries and various beers throughout the airport and they wonder why that is allowed but marijuana souvenirs are not. Similar types of lawsuits have been attempted in the past with little to no success. It is unlikely this one would be any more successful considering the Supreme Court ruling to that affect.
Although citizens may be able to purchase and consume marijuana legally in the Centennial State, there is another law that allows businesses to prohibit the use or possession of the plant on business property. Denver International, and many other venues, practice the right to ban the plant from business property.
Even though the airport has the ban in effect, approximately 29 people were caught in possession of plant material while going through airport security. No citations were issued as of May 2014, and airport officials see this relatively low number to mean that most people are complying with the rules. All passengers caught in possession were still permitted to board the plane after the marijuana was confiscated by authorities.
Supporters of marijuana themed products sales say that the airport is simply not up with the times. Many businesses in Colorado, including smaller airports have embraced the idea and allow those types of sales. It is possible that the airport will change their minds in the future and begin to allow vendors to freely sell these souvenirs, but it does not appear that it will be any time in the near future.
Until then, the vendors will have to settle for souvenirs that use puns such as “Rocky Mountain High.” Officials want visitors to understand that there is a lot more to Colorado than the fact that the citizens voted to legalize the use of marijuana in the state.
photo credit: DailyHerald