Marijuana: Michael Hancock rips Amendment 64, campaign responds (update)
We also asked for Hancock's take on arguments that regulation and enforcement are more effective when marijuana is legalized -- a common response to Amendment 64 critics like Governor John Hickenlooper, who say they are worried about a rise in underage smoking.
"You can argue that with a lot of the things that are illegal, right -- if you know that it's occurring and where it's occurring and where it's allowed. The realities are this: I think the cost to society with people who graduate from marijuana to harsher drugs is exponentially higher than any benefit that someone may try to calculate that you'll get from a...regulated marijuana industry,"he said. "I just find it very hard. Those of us who grew up where the advent and introduction of some of the harsher drugs, whether it's heroin, whether it was PCP, crack cocaine, we know a lot of our family members and neighbors started with recreational use of marijuana."
Sam Levin Mayor Michael Hancock at an Obama press conference yesterday.
Hancock cited a recent Denver Post series on heroin use in Denver, in which Angel, the main subject, started smoking weed at age twelve, then moved on to cocaine, and eventually became addicted to heroin.
Another reporter asked about another argument of supporters -- that the measure will benefit Colorado children with $40 million in tax revenue put into school capital construction.
"It still requires another act of the state legislature to direct those funds if they materialize at all," Hancock said, repeating an argument of the amendment's opponents. "One of the things that you need to understand is, even in the medical marijuana industry, the revenues that were promised -- or at least speculated would occur -- have not materialized.... A lot of the dispensaries have gone out of business. A lot of folks have gone into it thinking it was going to be a windfall. It just simply has not materialized."
Continue to read the Amendment 64 response to Mayor Hancock's comments.