Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in an interview he is concerned about kids smoking marijuana after his state legalized the drug in small quantities in the 2012 election.
In an interview with the Washington Post,
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said he wishes the law never passed.
"If you'd asked me the day after the election if I could magically change the voters' returns around and voted it down, I probably would have said yes," Hickenlooper told the Post.
The governor, who first took office in 2011, said he has scaled back some of his initial concerns about the law. But he remains worried about how young people in the Centennial State view marijuana, despite the fact that the industry is regulated and growers and dispensaries mostly follow the law.
"The concern that we still have — that I still have — is whether young people will view this legalization as in some way saying to them that marijuana is safe," Hickenlooper said in the Post story. "And literally every neuroscientist that I have talked to is very concerned that … [among kids] even once a week you can permanently diminish long-term memory."
Hickenlooper, 62, said the state will spend $6 million to educate Colorado's youth — and adults — about the dangers of marijuana. The campaign is called "Good to Know."
"Just because it doesn't seem to have these negative effects on adults, that does not mean that we should in any way make it easy for kids to get it," Hickenlooper said.
A recent study
claimed that Colorado now has the second highest percentage of marijuana smokers.
According to the results, about 530,000 people in Colorado use the drug at least once a month. That amounts to 12.7 percent of Colorado residents 12 and older. The national figure is 7.4 percent.
The above data was from 2012-2013.
In Texas, meanwhile, the state's Sheriffs Association said last week it will fight hard
to stop an attempt to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
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