Once Colorado Governor, a Skeptic is Fine with Legalization

Once a Skeptic, Colorado Governor is Fine with Legalization

Following the 2012 election, which saw Colorado become the first nation to legalize marijuana, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said he likely would have reversed the vote when he had a magic wand.

However, with the view of a few years post-legalization, now he says he’d put that wand “back in the drawer. ”

“I’m not quite there to say this is a great success, but the old system was awful,” Hickenlooper said at a forum hosted by the Economic Club of Chicago on Nov. 14, 2018.

What’s more, “what we most feared — a spike in teenage ingestion , a spike in total consumption, people driving while high — we harbor ’t seen them,” he said.

“We had a tiny increase in teenage consumption, but then it went down. We do think that some of the consumers are using it a bit more frequently than they were five years ago before legalization. We have in many ways seen no demographic where there’s a rise in consumption, with one exception: senior citizens. ”

Hickenlooper, who’s been floated as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, described the challenges his government faced when Colorado voters approved an adult-use legalization measure. Advisors and elected officials were opposed to it, ” he said, and plus, “it’s no fun to be in conflict. ”

But he pushed forward with implementation, recruiting the “cleverest people” he could find to figure out the best approach to taxation and regulation. And Illinois, which recently elected pro-legalization Democrat J.B. Pritzker for governor, will probably be better off if they pursue reform as they can learn from the successes and failures of Colorado’s system, Hickenlooper said.

“Ultimately, I haven’t come to a final decision yet, but I think it’s looking like this will be — for all the flaws and challenges we’ve — a better system than what we had. You guys will benefit, I believe, having let’s make a whole lot of the mistakes and handle it, I believe you’will be able to have a far better system if indeed that is the way that the state wants to go. ”

Asked what advice he’d contribute to Pritzker if Illinois does decide to fully legalize cannabis, Hickenlooper offered three hints: 1) don’t overtax bud, or else the illicit marketplace will persist; 2) get data from law enforcement on the presence of cannabis metabolites from the blood after highway fatalities to establish “great baselines” for comparison; and 3) set limits on THC concentrations in edibles.

“What they’re selling today, they tell me it’s 10 to 12 times more extreme than what purportedly I smoked in high school,” Hickenlooper said, pausing before conceding, “I smoked pot in high school and I inhaled, but it was a fraction of the intensity of what these kids are receiving now. ”

This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content syndication agreement. Read the original article here.

Featured Picture: Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper matches with Obama management Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, directly, on Feb. 26, 2012, in Washington, D.C. Hickenlooper, who leaves office after two terms, was originally opposed to the legalization of marijuana under his watch, but he said he’s come around. Fears of driving while large and underage consumption have not come true, ” he said at a forum hosted Nov. 14, 2018 from the Economic Club of Chicago in Illinois.

Released at Fri, 16 Nov 2018 18:00:10 +0000

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