Drug Dealers Protecting Their Turfby David Sirota
Sep. 24, 2012
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If you heard a drug dealer denigrate his competitor's product as unsafe, would you trust his criticism? Or would you think he's a hypocrite with ulterior motives? Last week, thanks to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO), these became the central political questions in the fight over whether to continue America's destructive War on Marijuana.
The frontline in that war is Colorado, where the federal government has interfered with its system of state-regulated medical marijuana businesses, despite President Obama's promise to refrain from doing so. Countering that crackdown is a 2012 ballot initiative that would make Colorado the first state to fully legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol.
Enter Hickenlooper. In the same month a poll showed majority support for the marijuana legalization initiative, the governor blasted the measure for allegedly "detract(ing) from efforts to make Colorado the healthiest state" and for "send(ing) the wrong message to kids."
What makes his announcement so stunning, and what evokes the drug-dealer comparison, is the governor's career as a purveyor of the drug commonly known as alcohol. That's right, as the founder of the state's first brewpub, Hickenlooper was instrumental in flooding the state with his beery drug of choice. In fact, he is so proud of his record pushing that mind-altering substance that he recently made national headlines telling reporters that "I'm the first brewer who's ever been a governor."