In 2012, when Colorado voters wanted their state to legalize weed for adult recreational use, Gov. John Hickenlooper was thrust into an interesting predicament.
The moderate Democrat had stood in opposition to Amendment 64, a measure he felt would send the wrong message to kids, create public health risks, detract from Colorado’s desirability, and, not to mention, stoke the ire of the feds.
But voters’ will spoke and Hickenlooper became an extremely reluctant figurehead and participant in one of the most unique social and political experiments in recent years.
Nearly five years after that historic vote and a little more than three years since the regulated adult-use sales began, that experiment is ongoing and Colorado’s regulations are evolving. And on this front, the broader national landscape is flush with activity: While eight states, including Colorado, now have recreational marijuana laws, the federal government may no longer be a sleeping giant.
The experiment is headed toward a crossroads.
Hickenlooper this week sat down briefly with The Cannabist to address topics such as the looming threat of increased federal enforcement, how Colorado has fared thus far, 2017 state legislation to allow for the social use and home delivery of medical marijuana, his views as the parent of a teen and more.