Pot pilgrims

 

Traveling in the clouds

"Marijuana tourists" are expected to converge on Colorado and Washington, hoping to score without fear of handcuffs, because voters in those states legalized recreational pot last November. Arthur Frommer, founder of the famous Frommer's Travel Guides, observes that "already, hotels in Seattle and Denver are reporting numerous requests for reservations by pot supporters planning visits." The ballot measures didn't prohibit purchases by out-of-staters, so now, both state governments are scrambling to craft regulations limiting marijuana tourists to small purchases -- maybe an eighth of an ounce, enough for five to 10 joints, reports The Wall Street Journal. A special Colorado "task force" of cops, marijuana businesspeople and legislators recommends that signs be installed in airports and along the state's borders "telling visitors they can't take pot home" to other states, AP reports. Dan Pablon, a Denver legislator, says firmly, "Marijuana purchased in Colorado must stay in Colorado." All this presumes that the Obama administration will hold off enforcing the federal ban on recreational pot.

Heard45.5.jpg
Pre-emptive road rage? Courtesy Don Creclius

Fabulous Las Vegas

The millions of tourists on the Las Vegas Strip might have a hard time finding any trace of local history, given the proliferation of ever-more-absurd casino hotels mimicking exotic destinations –– the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, Egyptian pyramids, and who knows what else. But local officials are promoting a landmark that has been flashing since 1959 (around the time, many imagine, that Las Vegas history began). We're talking about the 25-foot-tall, diamond-and-star-shaped neon sign that proclaims: "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas." This sign was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, probably due to the power of Nevada Sen. Harry Reid as much as to its national importance. Even people who've never been to Las Vegas know the sign because it often symbolizes the city in movies, news reports and YouTube videos. "People come from all over the world and want their picture taken ... by the sign," Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak told the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently. "It's oftentimes impossible to get a parking space (near it)." Rest assured: County officials are spending $800,000 to add about 20 new parking spaces near the fabulous sign, along with "button-controlled crosswalks and traffic lights to make pedestrian access easier," the Review-Journal reports. Mark Rumpler, a "tribute artist" who dons a white leather Elvis Presley costume to pose with the sign for tourists' snapshots, is among those happy about the improvements.

This edition of Heard around the West was guest-edited by Ray Ring.

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected]

High Country News Classifieds
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    HawkWatch International seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our awesome team! This position will provide support in all aspects of the department. We are looking...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING IN TAOS, NEW MEXICO www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    will develop and execute Wild Utah Projects fundraising plan. Call, email or check full description of job online for more details:
  • HAND CRAFTED LOG HOME IN TETON VALLEY
    on ten acres. Full view of the Grand Teton. 35 miles to Yellowstone and 20 minutes to Grand Targhee Ski Area.
  • ACREAGE WITH HOME, SHOP, BARN FOR SALE!
    Must see for sng/extd fam or corp retreat in pines! $1,030,000
  • WESTERN REGIONAL MANAGER
    The American Forest Foundation seeks a smart and highly motivated candidate to join our Western conservation team. The Regional Manager supports the Regional Director to...
  • TRANSPORTATION PLANNER
    Exciting opportunity to lead the charge on meeting the future transportation demands of our community! This position will develop, coordinate, and implement the Integrated Transportation...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING INSTITUTE (EWI)
    with Robert Michael Pyle September 26-30, 2018, in Missoula MT.
  • REPORTING FELLOW - BOISE, ID
    Boise State Public Radio is hiring a Reporting Fellow as part of a new nationwide collaborative, Guns & America. Based in the state capitol, Boise...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Middle Colorado Watershed Council. Rifle, CO.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF RIVERSEDGE WEST (FORMERLY TAMARISK COALITION)
    RiversEdge West is seeking an entrepreneurial leader with solid nonprofit management skills to lead our high functioning team and help us make an impact on...
  • HIRING BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER DIRECTOR
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring an Education Center Director to oversee the operation of the Bears Ears Education Center....
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR WITH WRA
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a talented, organized person with great people skills, who is passionate about protection of the natural environment to work...
  • DIRECTOR OF REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
    The Wilderness Society is recruiting for an experienced Communicator for our Northwest Region. This position is located in Seattle, WA. For more information please visit...
  • SALMON RIVER IDAHO WILDERNESS RETREAT HOME
    Here is an opportunity to have a piece of self-sufficient paradise on Idaho's Main Salmon River adjacent to the largest Forest Service wilderness area in...
  • RAMMED EARTH SOLAR COTTAGE
    in 5-home conservation community & botanical sanctuary on 20 acres.
  • MEMBERSHIP AND ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR
    The Montana Wildlife Federation is looking for an enthusiastic and innovative Membership and Engagement Coordinator to help grow and maintain our grassroots voice for wildife,...
  • SR ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNER
    The City of Fort Collins is excited to announce a Sr Environmental Planner position within the Natural Areas Department. This position will be housed within...
  • HISTORICAL VACATION CABIN
    on beautiful Snow Angel Ranch located within San Juan National Forest near Pagosa Springs, CO. Lakes, fly-fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, horse trails, horse accommodations...
  • FIVE-ACRE VIEW LOT WITH WELL
    5 acres, well. Abuts Carson NF; hike fish ski; deer turkey elk.