Was Colorado’s Legalization of Cannabis ‘Reckless’?
October 7th, 2014
Policy, Top News
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has been largely supportive of the state’s legalization of recreational and medical cannabis, but during a debate sponsored by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, he called the movement “reckless”.
“I think for us to do that without having all the data, there is not enough data, and to a certain extent you could say it was reckless,” said Gov. Hickenlooper during the event. “I’m not saying it was reckless because I’ll get quoted everwhere, but if it was up to me I wouldn’t have done it, right? I opposed it from the very beginning. In matter of fact, all right, what the hell – I’ll say it was reckless.”
While Gov. Hickenlooper opposed Amendment 64 back in 2012, voters’ decision to pass the law forced him to act prudently in its implementation. His efforts to roll out the nation’s first legalized adult-use marijuana program helped him become embraced by the pro-marijuana movement. In fact, NORML – a marijuana advocacy group – has been a staunch supporter of the governor.
Some insist that Gov. Hickenlooper’s comments were simply politically motivated, especially given his staunch pro-marijuana stance since voters’ decision. He has actively championed marijuana reform against both the U.S. federal government and his own law enforcement community in many regards. Behind the scenes, insist many, he has been in strong support of legalization.
The reality is that legalization – like most things – was probably reckless, since there was no precedent for the policies that have been put in place. Gov. Hickenlooper has been a pioneer in de-risking the process, however, by setting up a program that has been highly successful in both raising state funds and avoiding most negative side effects to date. But of course, there’s still a lot of work to do on all fronts.
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