DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. John Hickenlooper is ready to get things done in Colorado as state lawmakers head back to the state Capitol. They’re set to tackle some controversial issues.
Those issues range from gun control to repealing the death penalty to how to regulate marijuana now that it’s been legalized in Colorado.
A newly-formed task force for Amendment 64 is taking up discussion of everything from transportation regulation of marijuana to state-run dispensaries.
By the end of the month the Justice Department will have a decision on whether to enforce federal law and what that enforcement will look like in Colorado after voters approved a measure that legalizes small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
Hickenlooper also signaled he is open to discussing a tax increase for education and additional limits on gun ownership.
“I’m sure we’ll look at assault weapons. I’m not sure anything will happen there. I’m sure high-capacity magazines will be discussed. I’m sure background checks, looking at every single person, if you’re going to buy a gun, just get a background check, a basic background check to make sure you don’t have a history of felonies or emotional instability,” said Hickenlooper.
This is the first time Hickenlooper has been specific on gun control.
He also indicated for the first time an openness to additional fracking regulation, specifically requiring companies to do water testing before they drill. That is something that is now done voluntarily.
Hickenlooper did make it clear that he is not supporting any ban on fracking, “If a community bans it so it makes it impossible for someone who owns mineral rights to get what they payed for, that’s not fair.”
The toughest decision he says he will make this year is whether to repeal the death penalty.
Hickenlooper admits he is wavering after a conversation with former Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput.
“I mentioned I always believed in the biblical an eye for an eye and he said, ‘Only the Old Testament. If you’re any kind of Christian all Christianity stands for is forgiveness and you don’t have the right to decide life and death of another,'” said Hickenlooper. “Ever since then I bet not a week goes by at least one night that I don’t think about it.”