For better or worse, tourists now have to deal with weed

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2020 was an atypical year. While it put a hard stop on most things, it was also an election year, opening the door to a lot of change. One of these changes was cannabis legalization, something that is increasingly becoming harder to ignore as more and more people embrace it.

While many policy areas were talking points during last year’s U.S. election, it was surprising that the one thing many states agreed on was cannabis. The legalization of the plant was expanded and supported by several states, and the change is noticeable all over the place, especially if a person is in a city that provides some kind of marijuana program.

This is great news for some travelers, and not so great for others.

“I didn’t expect to be in a family-friendly hotel in Chandler, Ariz., and get a vague waft of marijuana in the room,” traveller Judi Durand told the New York Times. “People are getting bolder with it. “It’s not very fair.”

In 2021, lawmakers filed forms to legalize cannabis in 31 states, including New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Virginia, all of which have passed bills and are expected to get things up and running soon.

U.S. states like Louisiana have decriminalized the drug, abruptly challenging many people’s perceptions. While some cannabis advocates have known about and expected these changes for a long time, the opposition and those who remained isolated from legal cannabis conversations did not.

Cannabis attractions are still in the works, but compared to a few years ago, the improvement is marked. There’s an anticipated audience for activities such as cultivation tours and cannabis-themed spas, as well as a growing number of dispensary spaces.

Whether for or against cannabis, it’s a reality that people will soon be smelling weed on their next trip, if they aren’t already. While the laws are just starting to reflect this change on a federal level, it’s a change that’s been years in the making.

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