While the stereotypical après-ski image might still be a group of skiers and riders huddled inside a rowdy ski bar slugging pints of lager, the iconic Colorado ski town of Aspen has shown a proclivity for another way of achieving their Rocky Mountain high. According to a new report, the seven marijuana dispensaries in Aspen sold $8.3 million of pot in 2015, with weed sales actually outstripping liquor sales in the town during March and April.
“That’s an incredible number,” Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn told the Aspen Times about the staggering number of pot sales. “That’s impressive.”
According to the report, marijuana sales just slightly trailed alcohol sales throughout all of 2015 except during March and April, where $140,000 and $13,000 more pot was sold than liquor, respectively. Officials attribute the increase in sales during those two months to students on spring break flocking to town.
Besides simply elevating the local economy, that money also went back to funding public services. Per the report, over $200,000 of sales tax from legal marijuana sales was funneled into the city’s coffers last year. And, according to Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch, some of that $200,000 will go back to supporting substance abuse programs within the city.
“It is money that wasn’t there before,” Frisch told the Aspen Times. “I think we have a fairly happy balance now. It seems to be working.”
And according to police in Aspen, the legalization of marijuana has actually made their jobs easier.
“Marijuana doesn’t exactly whip people into a frenzy to act out or go to a bar and pick a fight,” he said. “There’s no question that a person who’s been smoking marijuana is a lot less likely to pose a threat than someone drunk on alcohol.”
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