“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
Gov. John Hickenlooper
There’s an unsettling sense of deja vu to recent headlines of big cannabis raids in states that have legalized, from California’s Emerald Triangle to Colorado’s Front Range.
The upswing on such raids in the latter recently won some national media coverage, which provides fodder for opponents of legalization — and for those who favor a more restrictive model of legalization, in which there is no right to home cultivation.
People in Colorado still remember John Hickenlooper’s crack after the state legalized marijuana, a move he opposed: “Don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”
But Mr. Hickenlooper, the governor at the time of the 2012 initiative allowing recreational use of cannabis, eventually changed his mind. He acknowledged that fears of increased use by children did not materialize, and he boasted of the tax revenues for social programs that regulated sales delivered.
A supportive state-level chief exec, like New Jersey’s Phil Murphy, can push to expand existing marijuana programs. An anti-weed governor, on the other hand, can block the will of his state’s own voters, which is exactly what Maine’s Paul LePage has been doing. Last year, he vetoed a bill to establish a recreational marijuana market, even though his state's voters had said in 2016 they wanted to create one, and now he's threatening to veto another recreational marijuana bill passed by lawmakers. (The legislature may be able to override his veto this time.)