Marijuana: John Hickenlooper warns other governors against rushing into pot legalization

Categories: Marijuana

john.hickenlooper.leaf.jacket.205x205.jpg
Millions of dollars in tax revenue are now pouring into Colorado's coffers due to recreational marijuana sales.

And that's not to mention the personal-liberties victory that came when limited amounts of cannabis was legalized for personal adult use and consumption.

Yet Governor John Hickenlooper wouldn't suggest that other states change their laws to mirror Colorado's.

At least not 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 at the National Governors Association's annual meeting this past weekend in Washington. "If it was me, I'd wait a couple of years."

Hickenlooper urged his fellow leaders not to be enticed by the projected $184 million in tax revenue that Colorado could reap from the pot industry over the next eighteen months. He pointed out that he has requested that the majority of the tax dollars collected go toward youth marijuana prevention programs, substance-abuse programs and law enforcement.

jay.inslee.jpg
Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
"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 in a press release last week. "Now, thanks to the revenues generated by Proposition AA, which voters passed last fall, we have the funding to put them in place."

In other words, he doesn't want to bank on cannabis dollars for standard budget items before he sees what unintended consequences might arise. "We're going to not use this as a source of revenue to help education or expanding health care. We're going to use it in health care where it will relate to marijuana activity," he told his peers at a luncheon, adding, "I don't think governors should be in the position of promoting things that are inherently not good for people."

The reaction from Hickenlooper's peers was somewhat predictable. Governors from Kentucky, Connecticut, North Dakota, Maryland, Iowa, New Hampshire and Indiana all told reporters that they don't plan on calling for legalizing pot any time soon in their states. Iowa governor Terry Branstad called Colorado's changes "bad policy" and pot a "segue drug" that has no place in society. Even conservative radio host Bill Bennett gave Hickenlooper kudos for his conservative approach.

Interestingly, one governor who didn't seem to share Hickenlooper's concerns was Washington governor Jay Inslee. Though retail sales haven't started in his state yet and probably won't until the spring or summer, Inslee says the program is working well so far, and he believes the legalization of an ounce of pot for adults 21 and up has been a success. His advice to governors in states where marijuana legalization is a hot topic?

"I would encourage them to follow their state's will."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Two Pueblo pot shops make nearly $1 million in a month" and "Marijuana smoke shacks at Colorado ski areas freak out Inside Edition."

My Voice Nation Help
170 comments
RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Unfortunately, Gov. Hack plans to send all of the huge windfall to State revenues from the excessive taxes on cannabis straight back to the very prohibitionist parasites we need to tear away from the public trough.  Hack has learned absolutely nothing about cannabis, medical or otherwise, throughout his political career, and considering how often the subject has come up during his tenure as Mayor of Denver and Governor of Colorado, this reflects the most determined ignorance imaginable.  Hack believes utterly in the old liberal misconceptions about cannabis, and has declared outright that he does not want to spend the money the State is making off of cannabis on the State's many budgetary needs; all instead must be wasted on supposed mitigation for imagined harms caused by our limited legalization of adults' personal use.  In the wake of news that drivers' substitution of cannabis for alcohol has caused our traffic fatality rate to drop 9%, Hack plans a $2,000,000 campaign to warn against driving stoned -- the cops want millions to train thousands of so-called "Drug Recognition Experts" (DREs), a totally unscientific scam.  $45.5 million goes to drug abuse treatment, but that is construed to include compulsory programs to which minors who use cannabis are sentenced by courts.

Colorado's Establishment is in a state of perpetual war against the People of Colorado, especially with regard to their decisions about cannabis.  Gov. Hack and the prohibitionists reacted to passage of Amendment 64 by actually increasing the severity of offenses involving cannabis last year -- believe it or not, you can now commit a Class 1 felony (akin to premeditated murder) with cannabis in Colorado; this was going on while the media were trumpeting the lie that "Colorado legalized marijuana" around the globe (they still are).  Outside of our overtaxed dispensary system, growing too much or transacting any cannabis remains a felony -- in most of Colorado, those activities remain felonious entirely, because the nearest dispensary, medical or otherwise, is hours away.  We have not begun to flush the ensconced prohibitionist parasites out of our government, and as long as we keep electing the likes of Governor Hack, we won't be able to do so.

Roberto Sequeira
Roberto Sequeira

Good point. Combine GREED with those elements and you got one toxic stew. Booze vs MJ...."Whats in HIS wallet?"...

Kevin Clowers
Kevin Clowers

THE most powerful, addictive "narcotic" is power and control. We need to stop looking at people like this as if they were somehow "special". An enormous number of these people are borderline sociopaths. They behave EXACTLY like addicts. They will not EVER surrender an iota of control. The ONLY amount that satisfy them is MORE. To these people, people exist for the USE of government. Grab your ankles boys and girls and you better say "Thank You sir! May I have another?" like you mean it.

Jacob Edward
Jacob Edward

He probably doesn't like pot competing with all his breweries.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore

I'm not even a smoker. I just want the peoples money going where they were told it was going.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore

I thought the taxes are supposed to go to the schools and roads. All I see is 95% of the tax money going to pot education and prevention. BULLSHIT.

Jeffrey Grubesic
Jeffrey Grubesic

It's not rocket surgery. He's a god damn booze peddler, and he thinks it's gonna hurt his sales. Booze is worse than pot ten times out of ten, period! Can't wait till he's out of office. He's such a dip shit!!

Nick Bishop
Nick Bishop

Way to insult your constituents, good luck getting reelected. Especially when the tax numbers prove that the law was even more popular than expected.

Cory Evertz
Cory Evertz

Someone in this post said he's alcholic, ill second that just becuz he sounds like an ass

Noah Yetter
Noah Yetter

To quote William S. Burroughs, "The ill effects of marijuana have been grossly exaggerated in the U.S. Our national drug is alcohol. We tend to regard the use of any other drug with special horror. Anyone given to these alien vices deserves the complete ruin of his mind and body. People believe what they want to believe without regard for the facts." Hick is (was?) in the booze business. He will never accept pot.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Jay Inslee's comments are like those of a governor that hasn't spent the last couple years fighting the will of the public, tooth and nail.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Chickenpooper: "Don't let pot encroach on my beer business."

Skye Cameron
Skye Cameron

Because, like many people, he's divided on the issue. I voted for it, don't imbibe, but don't have problems with people who do. And yet, on the issue itself, I am still divided. I think he's a moral man whose sense of morality just runs a little dufferent than some of yours. Give us some time to catch up. I don't share his trepidations but I don't have his responsibilities. And neither do you all.

Joshua Conner
Joshua Conner

cuts into the drug he sells, liquor. he's a gangster in a suit

Jarod Erb
Jarod Erb

It's an election year and probably one of the most important in our nations history. The Republican Party has favored the wealthy and corporations and done nothing for middle class citizens and they are slowly destroying our nation. We must fight back and make change happen this fall! Please like our page RIP TO THE GOP and #voteblue2014 https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=406813339452308

Gary Newblom
Gary Newblom

It's obvious. He wants the tax revenue for Colorado. Does not want the competition.

Ken Lord
Ken Lord

He's an alcohol magnate... it's no surprise that he hates competition.

Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis

He is like all politicians, completely refuses to see the evidence and will never admit he is wrong.

Matt Wilcox
Matt Wilcox

He suggests other states wait a few years to see how this plays out in Colorado. AKA, wait a few years so Colorado can keep the market cornered and cash in off of it.

artshaman85
artshaman85

No DonkeyHotay comment about fists in asses? Bizarre...

Ben Barr
Ben Barr

He's selling less Wynkoop beer.

Michael Chezem
Michael Chezem

the saying is "serves at our pleasure," not "leisure."

Penny Elkins
Penny Elkins

He made his money being a bar owner, he is a drinker, and maybe he wants to keep all the pot money in Colorado?

Pheenix Wonder
Pheenix Wonder

Maybe, he's greedy, he doesn't want all the other states going legal til he has all the money.

Passion  Ward
Passion Ward

How does some adults smoking some weed in privacy have anything to do with politics in Denver?

Maggie May
Maggie May

Spending all that money on drug education programs that are proven not to work is a true shame:(

Dawn Lopez
Dawn Lopez

The governor is right, we don't have the facts... maybe it's time to do some research.

Anthony Trujillo
Anthony Trujillo

That's because he loves the money coming in, any old bud smoker can see this, ask Cheech.

Froosh
Froosh

@DonkeyHotay LOL. You're looking to the Denver Post for marijuana culture advice now?


Flailing much???

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... good thing that the liars and fools who wrote and promoted A64 surrendered TOTAL CONTROL of marijuana over to those power-hungry borderline sociopaths, eh?


Epic Stoner FAIL!

cowxguy
cowxguy

Did you honestly vote for Prop AA thinking it was going to be legitimate taxation?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Burroughs was a junkie.


FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed

The DP is stealing all of Westweed's marijuana mojo!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Froosh ... stay puerile, punk.

Froosh
Froosh

@FreeTheWeed  Clearly not enough if you and your multiple screen names/schizophrenic alternate personalities  are still posting here nonstop.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...