The National Governor’s Association met in Washington DC over the weekend for their annual winter conference. While some of those in attendance took Sunday morning to fight off hangovers, four governors managed to pull themselves together and offer their opinions on marijuana legalization during a segment of CNN’s “State of the Union.”
At the beginning of the show, host Candy Crowley asked the panel, consisting of two Republicans and two Democrats, if they would ever consider following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington and make recreational weed legal. After the four stared blankly at Crowley for a few moments, the often long-winded R-Texas Governor Rick Perry chimed in with a simple “no,” followed by a matching response from R-Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
“I don’t support legalization of marijuana. That’s been my position for a long time and will continue to be,” said Pence, who along with Rick Perry is considering a bid for the 2016 presidential election.
Democratic Governor Dan Malloy said in his state of Connecticut, lawmakers have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and are making strides to pass medical marijuana legislation, but “I think that’s about as far as we go,” adding that regardless of the tax revenue reportedly being generated in Colorado, money is no excuse to support legalization.
“They are two distinct issues,” said Malloy. “Let's not be enticed on that road because of money. It just doesn't make sense.”
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, also a Democrat, told Crowley his state is not in any hurry to legalize marijuana, but he say the opinions of many Missouri lawmakers are starting to shift towards the idea of marijuana being used for medicinal purposes.
“I think our legislature might consider that, but I think to move beyond that at this point is a bridge too far, but that bridge has not yet been built,” he said.
Governor Rick Perry ended the segment by boasting how rather than legalizing marijuana in Texas, they have focused their efforts on adjusting penalties. “What we’ve seen is our prison populations have gone down,” he said. “The idea that a kid has one marijuana cigarette and you send him to prison, where they can learn to really be a hardened criminal, is not thoughtful public policy.”
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.