DENVER - Colorado's leaders are shouting from on top of a mountain of marijuana tax revenue - imploring the Trump administration to leave legal marijuana alone.
"It would behoove the federal government to put in systems to kind of allow for the system to move forward, and this comes from a guy who opposed it initially," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, during a sit-down interview with Next.
The Trump administration has sent conflicting signals on whether it will enforce federal laws against marijuana.
Mayor Hancock says he's been convinced that legal, recreational marijuana is a benefit to the city.
"It was never about money for me. The reality is, this is about a system that the people have said that they want," said Hancock. "My constitutional responsibility is to implement that policy in a very responsible manner, which we have done and I'm proud of this city, I'm proud of the state of Colorado. I'm proud of the industry quite frankly who have done a good job of partnering."
The Mayor and the President, Part 1: Mayor Hancock on his working relationship with President Trump
The Mayor and the President, Part 2: How federal environment regulations impact Denver's goals
The Mayor and the President, Part 3: Hancock on immigration rules, release of murder suspect
The Mayor and the President, Part 4: Mayor Hancock found common ground with DeVos
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper weighed on legal marijuana last month in California. He says our state needs to be cautious given the mixed messages from the new administration.
"President Trump when he was candidate Trump running, on a number of occasions, he said, 'Well, this is something that different states are trying, maybe we should just wait and see how it plays out.' Obviously, the new attorney general has a different perspective and has been vocal on saying that he thinks it's a bad experiment, shouldn't go forward," said Governor Hickenlooper.
There are several cannabis bills at the state Capitol this year. Some would strengthen enforcement. Others would give marijuana more reach, like pot clubs and pot delivery.
The Governor wouldn't tell us if he'd veto expanded marijuana ventures but sent a strong signal.
"This isn't the year to be out reaching for, trying to carve off new turf and expand markets and and make dramatic statements about marijuana," said Governor Hickenlooper. "The federal government could take, can yield a pretty heavy hand."
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