Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper seems to be coming around on the issue of legal marijuana after admitting on an interview on FOX Business with host Maria Bartiromo, that marijuana is “not as vexing as we thought it was going to be.”
“It’s all those young people coming, and they look at marijuana and say, ‘Hey we can drink whiskey, why can’t we have a legalized system with marijuana?’ Gov. Hickenlooper said. “If you look back it’s turned out to not be as vexing as some of the people like myself — I opposed the original vote, didn’t think it was a good idea. Now the voters spoke so we’re trying to make it work, and I think we are.”
“Again, it’s not as vexing as we thought it was going to be, but at the same time it hasn’t been the economic boon that some promoters thought it would be. I think we are slowly, through hard work, building a regulatory system, making sure we keep it out of the hands of kids, making sure we keep our streets and roads safe, making sure we kill that illegal black market — drug dealers don’t care who they sell to. And we’re getting there.”
Bartiromo responded to the governor: “I think you’re right. When we did a special a couple years ago on marijuana, it was the single-best, most-watched program ever on cable, and we were all like, ‘Wow, what does this say about America?’ America smokes pot.”
Hickenlooper noted that cannabis use hasn’t spiked in Colorado.
“The people who used to be smoking it are still smoking it. They’re now just paying taxes. The people who didn’t smoke it still aren’t. We haven’t seen a spike. But I think there is a real expectation from people even that don’t smoke it: You shouldn’t go to jail, and it isn’t that much worse than whiskey or beer.”
Hickenlooper also predicted that in 2015, the Colorado pot industry will bring in $100 million in taxes and a billion dollars in sales. Impressive when you compare that to the $76 million in taxes and nearly $700 million in sales from 2014.
Hickenlooper also said that the state is considering lowering its marijuana taxes.
“We’re still trying to adjust the taxes to make sure we get rid of the black market,” he said, “so we might actually end up having to lower the taxes a little bit.”
Watch the interview below: