The New England Patriots were warned by head coach Bill Belichick about avoiding the temptation of legal marijuana in Colorado ahead of their big game against the Denver Broncos tomorrow. Patriots fans, on the other hand, seem to be having a blast.
That this year's NFL postseason has overlapped with both the historic legalization of marijuana in Colorado and a deep playoff run by the Denver Broncos—who earned home-field advantage this season—is a kind coincidence. One result: A happy marriage between football tourism and pot tourism.
According to reports, marijuana shops have been enjoying the crush of out-of-town visitors who, football loyalties notwithstanding, have been embracing Colorado's new policies. Justin Staley, who owns a shop near the stadium, claims to have hosted hundreds of San Diego Charger fans last week when the Chargers were in town to square off against the Denver Broncos.
That game offered some heartwarming stories of opposing fans coming together to smoke pot in the stadium (which is definitely still illegal). The Chargers lost 24-17, setting up this week's match-up between the Broncos and Patriots in Denver. Staley, who has also seen brisk sales from Massachusetts residents this week, shared this anecdote:
"We've actually got a budtender who's a Patriots fan. I don't know why, but he said he was going to wear his Patriots jersey on Sunday. That's against the dress code."
When asked if there were fears that Patriots fans might try to bring back souvenirs from the Green Rush, state police spokesman David Procopio offered this bon mot: “I suspect that to most Patriots fans making the trip, Mile High is only the name of the Broncos’ former stadium, and not a state of consciousness to shoot for.”
Should both Denver and Seattle win their games tomorrow, the two teams from the two states where marijuana has been legalized will play for the championship in February. The league might have to call it something other than the Super Bowl.