Don’t Legalize Marijuana Yet, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper Warns Other States

thumbs down all aroundFortune Live Media/flickrIn November 2012, Colorado voters approved a scheme to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in their state, opening up a whole new revenue stream for local and state governments while instilling fear in the hearts of drug warriors who profit from the continued criminalization and demonization of marijuana and other narcotics.

The state’s governor, however, doesn’t think other states should follow Colorado’s lead. The AP reports on the recent National Governors Association meeting:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is warning other governors against rushing to follow his lead.

He said he's spoken to "half a dozen" governors with questions about his state's experience, including some who "felt this was a wave" headed to their states.

"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."

The Democrat continued: "I say, if it was me, I'd wait a couple of years."

Thankfully for Colorado residents, it wasn’t up to Hickenlooper, it was up to them to decide to move Colorado toward a saner marijuana policy. So far, most places in the United States that have moved toward legalizing marijuana, be they Colorado or Washington or any of the local municipalities that have gone in that direction, have done so through various ballot initiatives. In Alaska, where the courts effectively legalized the consumption of marijuana in 1975, voters are moving toward putting the actual legalization of marijuana. Alaska was one of five states I suggested could be next to legalize marijuana.  Residents in all of them will likely have to rely on voters in their state to legalize marijuana, because as Hickenlooper illustrates, the politicians don’t have the spine, and the drug war’s a good hustle for politicians and other government employees.

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  • Doctor Whom||

    So the burden of proof is, yet again, on freedom? Fuck off, slaver.

  • ||

    It does have unintended consequences.

  • Mainer2||

    Hickenlooper ? More like dickinpooper, amirite ?

    /immature

  • John||

    Don't legalize marijuana but be sure to ban guns. God this guy is a piece of shit.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Käse!||

    Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is warning other governors against rushing to follow his lead.

    Bogard.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    +1 funny cigarette

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hick had to be dragged kicking and screaming into legalization by a ballot initiative in the first place. His opinion on whether other states should follow CO's lead is worth dick.

  • ||

    is worth dick.

    Could not help self.

  • ||

    Jupiter's Cock!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Jesse, if you don't settle down we're going to send you to one of those camps where sexually confused boys bunk together and spend their days either hiking around in the woods alone together or on their knees in intense private sessions.

  • ||

    I believe he's already attended one of those "camps."

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    If I'm bad, will you lock me up with Karen Gillan and Kat Dennings?

  • ||

    I'll be in my bunk...with others.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Someone wants all the marijuana revenue for himself.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    That was my first thought. He's afraid bordering states will legalize with less taxes.

  • UnCivilServant||

    My first reaction as well.

  • datcv||

    Rude. Share the joints, man.

  • Dr. Frankenstien||

    I had the same thought as well. If you're going to be in the vice trade whether it's Vegas for gambling or marijuana for Colorado. It's good to have the monopoly.

  • amelanchier||

    "Residents in all of them will likely have to rely on voters in their state to legalize marijuana."

    Except that they can't do that in RI, which doesn't have the citizen initiative. NH is more likely than RI to be the first state to legalize through the legislative process.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    NH is more likely than RI to be the first state to legalize through the legislative process.

    Not as long as the police unions, especially in ManchVegas and Nashua, have Maggie Hassan by the balls. (And I have been told by certain individuals at Phillips Exeter that she, indeed, does possess testes.)

  • ||

    Did they secretly want to go to Andover? Maybe Choate?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Choate? The place you can still pick up a strain of herpes first introduced by alumnus Dov Charney?

    *shivers*

  • Mainer2||

    Maggie smoked in college, sure. But today's weed is so much more potent, don't you know. Another pot for me but not for thee hypocrite.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That was Jeanne Shaheen's argument. She said those words verbatim.

    And what is it with NH and politician families from Levant? Hassan, Shaheen, Sununu?

    I blame the Jews.

  • Mainer2||

    During an interview on WMUR-TV’s Sunday morning “Close-Up” program, the governor was asked by host Josh McElveen whether she had ever tried marijuana.

    “I was in college. I tried it,” she said. “But things have changed. The drug is much more potent now.”

    You made me check, it was Hassan (although Shaheen may well have said the same).

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Shit, they must all get their talking points from DNC Central.

  • Mainer2||

    Also, why is "I was in college" a get out of jail free card for this sort of thing ?

    Governor, did you ever snort some blow ? Yes, but I was in college.

    Governor, have you ever had sex with another woman ? Yes, but I was in college.

    Have you ever shot a man in Memphis, just to watch him die ? Yes, but I was in college.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Governor, have you ever had sex with another woman ? Yes, but I was in college.

    That makes sense.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Have you ever shot a man in Memphis, just to watch him die ?

    not Memphis, no.

    Newark, yes, but in my defense, I thought it was a sewer mutant.

  • ||

    Newark, yes, but in my defense, I thought it was a sewer mutant.

    That seems extremely reasonable.

  • ||

    Newark, yes, but in my defense, I thought it was a sewer mutant.

    You've seen a C.H.U.D.?!?

  • Calbo||

    “I was in college. I tried it,” she said. “But things have changed. The drug is much more potent now.”

    So is laundry soap. Does that mean you stopped washing you cloths?

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwh!

  • ||

    That was Jeanne Shaheen's argument. She said those words verbatim.

    My folks talk the same way. Not that they've smoked pot since the Reagan era. Maybe kids today have no fucking tolerance. My parents don't know.

  • ||

    It's fucking simple: you don't smoke a whole joint any more or you'll be stoned off your ass. Seriously, people are fucking stupid. I burn buds the size of pencil erasers at the biggest, usually smaller. How hard is it to control portion size? This is like complaining that Smirnoff 100 is "way stronger" than regular Smirnoff. Yeah, no shit. So have less. You know that it's stronger.

  • datcv||

    Exactly, it's not like people are getting more stoned because it's stronger. For everyone I know who smokes, they generally have a level of stoned they want to get to and then they stop taking hits. I wonder how the cost has changed since the 70's ($ per THC content?).

  • Dr. Frankenstien||

    Thanks, I've always wondered about that. I've never smoked so I didn't know if you could control how stoned you got.

  • Raven Nation||

    But today's weed is so much more potent

    I'm not suggesting that the above is a valid argument to ban weed. However, there have been some studies done that conclude that today's weed IS more potent than 40 years ago (one of them was referenced in a Reason article, but I can't find the article right now).

    However, the studies also concluded that it was the criminalization of marijuana that led to the higher potency. Basically, if you're going to get busted for possession and/or distribution, you may as well develop high potency product so you can sell it for more money.

    So, the statement IS accurate. But in the debate over legalization, it is actually an argument FOR legalization.

  • The Other Kevin||

    Thankfully for Colorado residents, it wasn’t up to Hickenlooper, it was up to them to decide to move Colorado toward a saner marijuana policy.

    So according to Hickenlooper, the voters that voted him in are stupid and don't know how to vote correctly. Interesting.

  • Invisible Finger||

    That is S.o.p. for statists. People are too stupid to know what's best for them, but are suddenly brilliant with their vote.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not only are people too stupid to know what's best for themselves, but when these very same stupid people hold public office they become so smart that they know what's best for others.

  • Mainer2||

    I've tried that angle of argument, and a shocking number of people really do think that holding public office really does make you better at deciding how other people should live.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    No drugs, no guns.

    Another "rights-loving" Democrat.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I say that we don't have the facts. We don't know what the unintended consequences are going to be,

    Yeah, because drug prohibition is nothing like alcohol prohibition.

    Fucking retards!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    We don't know what the unintended consequences are going to be," Hickenlooper said. "I urge caution."

    Where was this fucking genius when Congress was passing legislation so they could find out what was in it? Did he lobby all his legislators at the federal level to vote NO?

  • NL_||

    Probably the right tone politically - gets to distance himself from being a radical in case people start turning against it, and gets to lengthen the period in which Colorado is a first mover if it does become inevitable. If there's a gap of 2 years where CO and WA are the only legal places, then it's more a footnote; a gap of 8 or 10 years is more significant and cements Colorado as a leader state in marijuana.

    Not that it matters much, since this movement is way bigger than Hickenlooper and wasn't started or heavily pushed by him. He won't have tons of influence on other states.

    Also a truly shitty comment from a humanitarian standpoint - keep arresting people for harmless behaviors until enough conservatives relent and enough seniors die that aggregate popular opinion shifts a little further.

  • Sevo||

    The poor guy is up to his ears trying to figure out how to regulate a legal product back into an illegal condition.
    It's HARD!

  • UnCivilServant||

    When I first saw the article picture, I thought he was holding a beer glass in his left hand, which would have been great hypocracy.

    I wonder if I should ask for one to be photoshopped in?

  • Ivan Pike||

    He was one of the founders of the original Wynkoop Brewing Company brewpub

    No need for a photoshop.

  • UnCivilServant||

    So adding the pint wouldn't be dishonest then. Good, my conscience is soothed.

  • Gene||

    Can't have the peeps deciding shit without input from top men.

  • Warren||

    Since when do politicians worry about unintended consequences?
    Apparently it's when their favorite pretext for oppressing their constituents is threatened.

  • mr lizard||

    Ya it's amusing when it comes out of a Statis' schlong slimer.

  • Furburguesa||

    Hick has his sights set on higher office. I'm hoping he is done after November. Any Colorado homies out there know much about Matt Hess? http://www.matthewhess.org/

  • Invisible Finger||

    Not that much OT: Text the DEA.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/21/.....?hpt=he_c2

  • Brandon||

    Every single person I've talked to about this, Every, Single, One, From the GM at Vail to my wife's Eastern-Plains-Conservative parents and grandparents, think it was a great idea and way overdue. Hick is the one asshole in the state too stupid and power hungry to see that it has had ABSOLUTELY NO DOWNSIDE. How is he still in office?

  • Paul Pot||

    Support for reform has passed 50% and still growing.
    Legalization did not just happen all of a sudden.
    20+yrs of decriminalization and medical marijuana happened without catastrophe and legalization will be no different.
    Reform friendly candidates were elected at the last election and more will be elected this year.
    There are a few candidates for the Governors chairs who support reform.
    Let's see how they do in November.
    Waiting to see what happens next could prove a career ending choice.

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