Marijuana proponents were ecstatic when recreational sales of the drug were legalized in Washington. But not long after that, the governor of the first state to approve pot sales, Colorado, expressed disappointment concerning his constituents' decision to green light recreational weed. His negativity buoyed the spirits of marijuana opponents here in Washington.
Well, times have changed in the Rocky Mountain State apparently.
Recently, John Hickenlooper sang a different tune about pot when speaking to the Fox Business Network. Hickenlooper was quoted as saying about marijuana legalization: “If you look back, it has turned out to be not as vexing" as he and many others thought it might be. The governor also noted that pot sales have proven to be helpful to the fiscal health of Colorado.
In the past, Hickenlooper has been known for making statements like, "Colorado is known for many great things – marijuana should not be one of them." But given how the rollout of legalized pot has gone relatively smoothly in that state, it appears that the governor won't be speaking out against the drug anytime soon.
In contrast, Washington's implementation of marijuana sales has been choppy, haphazard, and cumbersome. As a result, the state's pot industry has not taken off like many thought it would.
Perhaps lawmakers in Olympia could take a page out of Colorado's playbook and relax their bureaucratic grip on the entire licensing process for marijuana-related businesses. Because if recreational pot buyers are able to purchase their products more easily, Washington's coffers might be able to reap the rewards.