Aspen pot sales exceed alcohol for the first time as people ditch booze for marijuana

Does legalizing marijuana make people drink less alcohol? New sales figures from Colorado seem to indicate that could be true.

Legal-pot purveyors hauled in $11.3 million in revenue last year compared with $10.5 million for liquor stores, marking the first time marijuana sales outpaced booze for the year in Aspen. 

Cannabis revenue last year also marked a 16 percent improvement over 2016, which produced $9.7 million in sales. Of Aspen’s 12 retail sectors, the marijuana industry also enjoyed the biggest rate of growth last year. Liquor store sales were flat between 2016 and 2017, according to the city’s’ report.

Despite Jeff Sessions’s war on weed—which he claims is “only slightly less awful” than heroin–states not only are ignoring his vow to roll back Obama’s lax policies on pot, they’re also continuing to legalize it.

Sessions has a hard battle in front of him if he seriously tries to crack down on weed: not only do a majority of Americans favor legalization, but continued research indicates pot is less dangerous than booze. Combined with stunning sales figures like those coming out of Aspen, the case FOR marijuana is multifaceted and proving much stronger than the case against it.

Back in Aspen, while there’s no clear explanation for why weed sales have begun to top alcohol sales in the Rocky Mountain resort town, locals have some theories. 

“I think it’s meaningful for a couple of reasons,” said Matt Kind, a Boulder entrepreneur . “One in particular is when people are visiting Aspen and adjusting to a high altitude, some don’t drink for that first couple of days. And I think people are looking for something different from alcohol, which is essentially poison, and marijuana is botanical. I don’t say that with judgment, but you feel some lingering effects with alcohol.”