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Sen. Hickenlooper wants marijuana "descheduled, not rescheduled”
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Sen. Hickenlooper wants marijuana "descheduled, not rescheduled”

Ep. 51 — Sen. John Hickenlooper (5-8-2024)
United States Senate. Photo: Matt Laslo

Who?

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

LISTEN: Laslo & Hickenlooper

0:00
-2:55

Ask a Pol asks:

Any thoughts on the DEA moving to reschedule marijuana?

Key Hickenlooper: 

“I think it's a good first step,” Sen. John Hickenlooper exclusively told Ask a Pol. “I think it should be descheduled, not rescheduled.”

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SAFER Banking Act?

“I think we still need the SAFE Banking Act, I think that still adds value and certainty,” Hickenlooper said. 

Caught our ear from big beer:

“So, it struck me that if you're going to reschedule it, schedule where it belongs, but I don't think we really should have it. I mean alcohol is descheduled,” Hickenlooper — who’s famous back in Colorado for being a forefather (1988!) of America’s craft beer revolution — told us.

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Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), slightly edited for clarity.

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TRANSCRIPT: Sen. John Hickenlooper

SCENE: Sen. Hickenlooper’s walking through the basement of the US Capitol on his way to vote on the Senate floor.

Matt Laslo: “How are you, sir?”

John Hickenlooper: “Hey.”

ML: “Curious, your thoughts on the DEA moving to reschedule marijuana?”

JH: “I think it's a good first step. It allows small businesses to survive and be able to have, you know, at least my understanding is, it allows them to expense their costs of their business like anybody else.”

ML: “Yeah? Do you think they need the SAFER Banking Act on top of it?”

JH: “I think that's better. I think we still need the SAFE Banking Act, I think that still adds value and certainty. I wish they, you know, descheduled it to at the minimum Schedule IV. And again, as you know, I think it should be descheduled, not rescheduled.”

ML: “Yeah? What do you get from Schedule IV versus Schedule III?”

JH: “Say what now?”

ML: “What's the difference between Schedule IV and III?”

JH: “So things like Cortisone — steroids — are [Schedule] III. Ambien, Prozac — normal things that people know about and feel safer with — are Schedule IV.”

ML: “Interesting.”

JH: “So, it struck me that if you're going to reschedule it, schedule where it belongs, but I don't think we really should have it. I mean alcohol is descheduled.”

ML: “Yeah? And do you support efforts for clemency for past marijuana convictions? Or is that more nuanced?”

JH: “Yeah, I’ve always thought that the people that were convicted of nonviolent crimes and were not, you know, just of marijuana crimes in and of themselves. Again, I'm not talking about selling it and distributing it. But all the possessions, sure, decriminalize it.”

Another reporter is lined up to ask Hickenlooper a question.

ML: “Yeah? I’ll leave you to my colleague. Good to see you, sir.”

JH: “Yeah.”

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