Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper faces a tough challenger in Republican gubernatorial challenger, Bob Beauprez, and he’s not changing his stance on marijuana legalization to court more voters.
Even after Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 with a 55 percent majority in 2012 — over Hickenlooper’s strong objections — the incumbent says that he still would not support it.
Hickenlooper riled up activists and supporters by calling the measure reckless at a debate last night.
“To a certain extent you could say it was reckless. I’m not saying it was reckless because I get quoted everywhere. But if it was up to me, I wouldn’t have done it. I opposed it from the very beginning. What the hell. I’ll say it was reckless,” Hickenlooper said.
Neither candidate in the tight race endorses legalization. Beauprez opposes legalization as well and said of marijuana, “We have to regulate as tight as the law allows.
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML), voiced his opposition to Hickenlooper’s assertion to Denver publication Westword.
“I think he’s surely caught up in an election, which is unfortunate, because he’s a former brewer and a seller of a drug far more dangerous than marijuana. And he also contacted NORML specifically asking for donations to his re-election, because he is championing a change of law. So it seems rather hypocritical to turn to an audience and say he thinks what the people did was reckless. What we’re seeing is a politician in full election mode.”
“We’re not only the first state to do this, we’re the first country,” Hickenlooper said Monday night. “There are serious challenges when you build something from scratch.”
With Hickenlooper and Beauprez obviously not up to the challenge, marijuana activists have looked to a new candidate, Mike Dunafon. Dunafon serves as the Mayor of Glendale, a town next to Denver taking up a little over half a square mile. He has said that he is running because he promised his followers that he would if he received 60,000 likes on his Mayoral Facebook page. His fans far exceed his current constituency of 4,512.
The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, a free Colorado monthly that this writer does some work for, published a feature on Dunafon’s candidacy in its September issue. The magazine argue that he is the best candidate for the job and the only one who supports legalization. With polls putting the gubernatorial race at a dead heat between the Democrat and Republican candidates, Dunafon was not invited to last night’s debate.
Dunafon left his feedback on the Governor’s comments on his Facebook page this morning.