Marijuana not keeping companies away from Colo., Hickenlooper says

Photo: Colorado flag marijuana (iStock)Governor John Hickenlooper is no fan of legal marijuana but he says he's not too worried about the drug's impact on Colorado's image so far.

"I've talked to a fair number of out-of-town CEOs that have operations here and want to expand them or are looking at moving a company here," Hickenlooper says. “They don’t see it as a workforce problem or an image problem."

Still, the governor isn't thrilled by all the attention being paid to Colorado's experiment in legalization.

"Listen to late-night TV, look at newspapers and magazines in Europe - they’re fascinated by what we’re doing here," Hickenlooper says. "In many cases, it’s not necessarily negative in terms of what it means for Colorado but sometimes it’s not good."

CPR recently asked listeners to share their views on how marijuana has affected Colorado's image. Of the 50 who responded, the majority didn’t think Colorado’s image has suffered. Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University recently released a poll that found a majority of residents say "marijuana has been good for Colorado."

The governor concedes that the economics of marijuana have benefited the state so far by increasing demand for commercial real estate in some areas and letting the local governments collect taxes they missed out on before. But Hickenlooper says those benefits don't outweigh the risk of increased drug abuse among Colorado's youth.