Presidential candidate John Hickenlooper (D) didn't support cannabis legalization when he was governor of Colorado, but he sure wants you to think that he did.
These days Hickenlooper is often seen as one of the great champions of cannabis reform. And there's no doubt that a lot of positive changes where made under his leadership in the Centennial State. Now, he's banking on those gains to help him convince potential donors to financially support his 2020 campaign.
As Marijuana Moment reported, Hickenlooper posted an Instagram story on Thursday essentially telling voters that if they want to see cannabis-related social justice reform on the federal level, he's the guy to back. According to him, all you have to do is look at what happened in Colorado when he was governor to know he means business.
"While I was Governor, Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana," read Hickenlooper's story. "And we worked to address the social and racial inequalities that plagued marijuana sentencing."
Everything Hickenlooper said is true, but it's not the whole story. During his time as governor, Hickenlooper actively campaigned against the 2012 ballot measure that made Colorado the first state to legalize recreational cannabis. And, as recently as last year, Hickenlooper was still vetoing bills that would have expanded Colorado's legal cannabis market.
To his credit, however, Hickenlooper did work hard to make sure that once state voters approved cannabis legalization, it was put in to place effectively and Colorado remains at the forefront of the legal industry.
These days, Hickenlooper does genuinely appear to be a real supporter of large scale drug policy reform and has by far the most experience with governing a cannabis legal state. Still, it's worth noting that Hickenlooper wouldn't be able to make any of those claims if he had succeeded in rallying opposition to legalization back in 2012.