“John Hickenlooper has shoplifted, smoked pot, been a geologist, a brewer, a mayor and a governor …”
Hickenlooper is making the rounds on a two-day press trip to promote his new memoir “The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics,” which hits bookstores today. Couric mentioned some of the amusing TMI tidbits scattered throughout its 344 pages and pressed Hickenlooper on his marijuana views.
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Since their meeting in 2014 at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Hickenlooper has softened some of his skeptical views on marijuana legalization in Colorado.
“At the time you opposed it, you even called it reckless,” Couric starts. “What were you most worried about initially, and have your concerns been allayed?”
He counts off “a couple of things”: being in conflict with federal law (“still don’t like that”) and continued concerns about how THC affects adolescent brain development.
Hickenlooper says: “We haven’t seen the big spike that I was worried about seeing of teenagers at greater frequency smoking. Now we’ve seen a little bit of an uptick, that’s why I keep telling other governors to hold off a couple of years … just to see if there are unintended consequences and whether we can handle them.”
Hickenlooper repeats his “magic wand” motto about reversing the vote with a moment of reflection:
“But now, I’m not sure I’d reverse the vote. But, I think we’ve made real progress. And there might be a way to have a better system come out of this. … I am not as negative as I was. I am cautiously optimistic, like we might actually do this. This is going to be one of the biggest experiments of the 21st century.”
Couric does her duty in asking at the end of the cannabis conversation: “Have you smoked pot since it’s become legal in your state?” To which Hickenlooper laughs, “No, I have not. And I haven’t eaten any, either.”
And as far as the vice president chatter? Couric questions him on the highly-speculated spot on Hillary Clinton’s shortlist. Oh, and he takes some solid hits on Trump too.
Hickenlooper says: “It’s something I’d have to look at, but I probably would. I love what I’m doing … I think Colorado is doing a lot of things that are going to allow us to be a national model of what a state can be.”
Watch Katie Couric’s full interview with Hickenlooper here.