Colorado Gov. Walks Back Criticism of Legal Marijuana

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper hasn’t exactly been a huge fan of legal marijuana.

He’s repeatedly criticized the legalization measure voters passed in 2012, even saying at one point last year that the move was “reckless” – which painted the recreational cannabis industry in a negative light.

But Hickenlooper changed his tune this week, saying on Fox Business Network that “It’s not as vexing as we thought it was going to be.”

“It isn’t that much worse than whiskey or beer,” Hickenlooper told Opening Bell host Maria Bartiromo. “And there’s a sense that we should figure out how to do this.”

Hickenlooper also said he expects the legal marijuana industry to generate roughly $100 million in tax revenue for the state this year.

The governor’s latest comments help boost the industry and activists pushing for legalization measures in other states.

“It’s great to see the governor recognizes that regulating marijuana is working in Colorado and that it has many benefits,” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in an email. “Just about everyone who takes an objective look at what is happening in Colorado agrees that things are going quite well.”