Legalizing limited amounts of pot for personal use and cultivation has been a great idea, raising millions in tax revenue and creating a newfound sense of freedom for people who choose to use cannabis. But Colorado’s governor feels much, much differently.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper told his peers at the National Governors Association that they shouldn’t rush into changing their laws any time soon.
“When governors have asked me, and several have, I say that we don’t have the facts. We don’t know what the unintended consequences are going to be,” Hickenlooper said. “I urge caution.”
Ol’ Hick’ says that even though the tax revenue so far has exceeded his expectations, money alone isn’t a reason to change cannabis laws. To drive that point home, Hickenlooper has announced that millions will be funneled to marijuana treatment programs, pot cops and the like.
“When the voters passed Amendment 64, it became the state’s obligation to implement it sensibly and responsibly, mindful of all Coloradans (especially mindful of our Colorado families and children). We have strategies to do exactly that,” Hickenlooper said. “Now, thanks to the revenues generated by Proposition AA, which voters passed last fall, we have the funding to put them in place.”
And apparently, Hick’s comments didn’t fall on deaf ears. Many other governors seem to feel the same about cannabis legalization.
“I just had a longstanding belief that legalizing marijuana would not be in the interest of our youth or our people,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, told Newsday. “And I’ll maintain my position in opposition to legalization as long as I’m governor.”
Interestingly, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told other governors to listen to his constituents and that pot law changes in his state have gone well (probably because those same laws are helping to destroy the medical marijuana program that he couldn’t ever control completely).
“I would encourage them to follow their state’s will,” he said. “Our will was to de-criminalize this product. And so far it’s working well.”