Four governors on the politics of pot - KCTV5 News

Four governors on the politics of pot

Posted: 2014-02-23 09:05:49
Updated: 2014-02-23 09:06:40

(CNN) - Four governors - two Republicans and two Democrats - indicated Sunday that their states would not be headed down the same road as Colorado and Washington in terms of legalizing recreational marijuana.

Asked on CNN's "State of the Union" whether they would consider making pot legal, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was the first to jump in with a flat "no."

The outgoing Republican governor, who's considering a 2016 presidential bid, has said in recent weeks that he favors lowering the penalties of those using marijuana and said policies already in place have helped decrease the prison population in Texas.

"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," he told CNN's chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who also hasn't ruled out a potential White House bid, said he doesn't support legalization, either.

"That's been my position for a long time and will continue to be," said Pence, a Republican who took office last year.

Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut said his state has decriminalized small amounts of pot and has moved forward with medical marijuana, but "I think that's about as far as we go."

Though Colorado has seen a surge in tax revenues from marijuana sales, Malloy said taxes shouldn't be considered an incentive to legalize pot.

"They are two distinct issues," he said. "Let's not be enticed on that road because of money. It just doesn't make sense."

Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Missouri, also indicated that his state wasn't heading toward pot legalization but said some in his state are starting to open up about medical marijuana.

"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.

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