Legal pot draws Texans to Colo. as Americans support legalization

By Jace Larson - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - As an increasing number of Texas residents are traveling to Colorado and getting high, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 55 percent of Americans support legislative efforts to legalize marijuana.

Local 2 Investigates traveled to the wealthy mountain-resort community of Telluride, Colo. this week to ask Texans if legal cannabis draws them to the Colorado. Winter mountain sports draw most out-of-state visitors, but many said legal marijuana is part of their vacation.

"I'd say it's a huge pull for Texans to come up here," Patrick Dyar said.

Dyar is from Carlton, Texas, which is located 90 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

"If they are over 21, (a dispensary) is the first place they go," he said. "I see them stockpiling Pringles and Visine at the market."

Marijuana store owner Adam Raleigh said in the first week recreational marijuana was legal, a majority of his customers were Texans. He requires buyers to show an ID to prove they are over 21. Recreational marijuana started Jan. 1.

"Because of the closeness of Colorado to Texas, Texas is big business for us," Raleigh told Local 2 Investigative reporter Jace Larson.

Colorado charges 25 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana.

Respondents to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll said they would back laws similar to the ones on the books in Colorado and Washington State, where adults over the age of 21 are permitted to possess limited amounts of marijuana for personal use.

Coming up Thursday night on Local 2 News at 10, Larson shows you how legal pot works and shows you the penalties first-time users face in Texas if they are busted for possessing a small amount of marijuana.

Join the discussion about marijuana legalization and taxation on Larson's Facebook page.

Have a tip for investigative reporter Jace Larson? Email him at Or follow him on Twitter.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.