Colorado: MPP Calls For Boycott of Holiday Inn After Hotel Operator Files Federal Lawsuit To Shut Down Marijuana Legalization

MarijuanaPolicyProjectvsHolidayInnRegulationWorksGetOverIt

Suit filed Thursday by New Vision Hotels Two, LLC claims its Frisco Holiday Inn location — which sells alcohol, a more harmful substance than marijuana — would lose business if a state-licensed marijuana retail store opens across the street

If you enjoy legal cannabis, you may want to avoid giving your business to Holiday Inn.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) on Friday called for a nationwide boycott of Holiday Inn after a hotel operator in Colorado filed a federal lawsuit intended to shut down the state’s marijuana regulatory system.

New Vision Hotels Two, LLC is the primary plaintiff in a suit filed Thursday that claims its Frisco Holiday Inn location would lose business if a state-licensed marijuana retail store opens nearby. The operators of the hotel, which sells alcohol — a more harmful substance than marijuana — on its premises, say the presence of a marijuana business will hurt the hotel’s image and deter visitors.

In messages to its approximately 200,000 email subscribers and 414,000 combined followers on Facebook and Twitter, MPP urged supporters of legalizing and regulating marijuana to stop staying at Holiday Inn hotels until the lawsuit is dropped. It also launched a Change.org petition targeting New Vision Hotels and Holiday Inn’s parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group.

The petition is online at http://chn.ge/1w4Fqls.

“A majority of Americans want to end marijuana prohibition, and we expect many of them would prefer not to spend their money at businesses that are fighting to maintain it," said Mason Tvert, Denver-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "We’re encouraging everyone who agrees marijuana should be legal for adults to think twice before spending their holidays at a Holiday Inn.

"If they won’t accept marijuana businesses, we shouldn’t give them our business," Tvert said.

“Colorado is doing more to control marijuana than any state in the nation, and this lawsuit is aimed at undermining its efforts," Tvert said. "Regulating marijuana has taken hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana transactions out of a dangerous underground market.

"These sales are now being conducted by licensed, taxpaying businesses instead of cartels and criminals," Tvert pointed out. "We are disappointed that a member of the Colorado business community would prefer marijuana be sold on the streets rather than in regulated businesses."

“The fears expressed in this lawsuit were also expressed by politicians, tourism boards, and business groups that opposed Colorado’s marijuana ballot initiative in 2012, and they have all proven to be unfounded," Tvert said. "They said regulating marijuana would be bad for tourism, but we’ve experienced record-high tourism the past couple years. They said it would hinder economic development, but businesses keep moving here, the unemployment rate has plummeted, and Colorado’s economy is among the fastest growing in the nation."

"It’s time to get over the reefer madness and accept the reality that marijuana is legal for adults in some states and will soon be in many more,” Tvert said.

Graphic: Westword