DENVER (CBS) – Recreational pot has played only a small role in the Colorado governor’s race.
The race has been dominated instead by questions about crime and punishment as well as leadership and jobs, but a question about legalized marijuana was posed during the final debate in the race.
That debate took place last Friday, and it was presented by CBS4 and Colorado Public Television 12.
CPT 12 Political Analyst Eric Sondermann raised the issue, asking what advice the candidates would give other governors when it came to dealing with legal marijuana.
Both men said they had received such calls, and both agreed caution is key.
“I think we are very much in a learning phase here in Colorado,” said Republican challenger Bob Beauprez. “The people of Colorado supported Amendment 64 by a significant majority. I think we need enforce the law as it was passed.”
Like Beauprez, Democratic incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper opposed the 2012 Colorado ballot initiative that called for retail sales of the drug to those over 21.
“(But) when it passed 55-45, I think we’ve got an obligation to do everything we can to create a regulatory system that can work,” he said.
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Hickenlooper says governors frequently ask him if the tax revenues are significant enough to make it worth all the challenges.
“I tell them just what the Congressman said — we need to wait.”
Both men also agreed there are still lessons to be learned, and that’s especially true when it comes to the law’s impact on children.
“I think we need to be very objective and honest about what we learn about the consequences of this new law relative to our children, to young people and to employees who are seeing jobs around the state, because the consequences are real,” Beauprez said.
“We are, I think, in the middle of one of the great social experiments of the 21st Century. We are going to do everything we can to find a framework to make it work, but we have to keep it out of the hands of children. We know this high THC pot has the potential to diminish their long term memory if their brains are still growing, if they are teenagers,” Hickenlooper said.
Watch the CBSNews.com report on this issue in the video clip below:
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