By Steve Elliott
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, once a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, has changed his tune. Maybe it was the stacks of cash.
The Democratic governor told Fox Business Network that cannabis is "not as vexing" as he thought it would be. Hickenlooper partly tied Colorado's strong fiscal health to the popularity of, and economic opportunities connected to, the legal marijuana industry.
"It's all those young people coming and they look at marijuana and say, 'Hey, we can drink whiskey; why can't we have a legalized system with marijuana?'" he said on FBN.
"If you look back, it has turned out to be not as vexing as some of the people like myself" first thought it would be, Hickenlooper said.
The governor had forcefully spoken out against legalizing pot in the past, and said "Colorado is known for many great things -- marijuana should not be one of them."
But now that he's seen the green light, Hickenlooper said the state has been busy "building a regulatory system, making sure we keep it out of the hands of kids, making sure we keep our streets and roads safe."
Photo of Gov. John Hickenlooper: Daily Camera