If you’re headed to Denver’s Civic Center park this afternoon, be prepared for a Rocky Mountain contact high.
Today marks the fourth 4-20 marijuana festival since Colorado launched the world’s first legal retail market for the drug. The Denver celebration generally draws thousands of pot enthusiasts, the highlight of what, for many, is a week-long celebration of weed.
So, ahead of the cloud of cannabis that will rise over central downtown, we thought it was a good time to check in with the governor for his thoughts on how legalization is — or isn’t — working out for Colorado.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, along with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, spoke out against legalization of the drug in the lead-up to the Nov. 2012 referendum on Amendment 64, which proposed changing the state constitution to allow for the use and regulation of marijuana.
A majority of Coloradans said yes to legal cannabis, and the rest is history.
Sales of legal pot topped $1 billion in Colorado last year. Many studies indicate that, contrary to the concerns recently expressed by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, legal pot has not led to a rise in crime rates. Many U.S. states and foreign countries look to Colorado as an example of how the drug can be safely regulated and sold.
But, in the the four years and four months since Colorado’s recreational cannabis industry sprouted, Gov. Hickenlooper has continued to maintain his distance from the drug.
He’s as good as anyone at cracking a joke about a Rocky Mountain High — most recently on NPR’S Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me — but he continues to say that, ultimately, we still don’t know if legalization was the right decision: [WATCH]