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January 03, 2014 11:23 AM UTC

Unchallenged in radio interview, Coffman worries pot legalization could keep Fortune 500 companies out of CO

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Reefer Madness, Mike Coffman style – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) delivered a major buzz kill on the radio Wednesday, saying he's worried that pot legalization might keep Fortune 500 companies out of Colorado and drive down the state economy.

"I worry, 'What about that Fortune 500 corporation that wants to move to Colorado?'" Coffman said on KOA's Colorado Morning News (@3:45). "And the chief executive officer has young kids, and to say, 'Do I want my children exposed to a culture where this is acceptable for adults? And will that influence their behavior as kids?'"

Without the cloud of marijuana in the mix, you'd think a big CEO would move his or her company to Colorado based on bottom-line considerations, but unfortunately KOA co-host April Zesbaugh didn't delve into the facts underlying Coffman's fear of Fortune-500 flight.

Overall, Coffman said he's worried that pot legalization could be a bummer for Colorado's economy, and unfortunately he wasn't asked about the benefits.

"So we are really charting into an unknown world, and I certainly worry about the effect on this economy," Coffman said (at 4:05 in the interview).

Listen to Coffman discuss his concern that pot legalization will drive down state economy 12-31-13

Also in the KOA interview, Coffman said he was concerned that military recruitment might be hurt by Colorado's new pot law, because potential enlistees could be rejected due to their use of marijuana.

What's more, he said current military personnel might get tripped up by the law.

"In terms of the military, we have a fairly significant military population [in Colorado]," Coffman said on KOA. "The military has screening tests that they spring, quite frankly, on their uniform folks every now and then. And if they test positive for drugs, to include marijuana, that's really an issue that leads to a discharge."

Coffman wasn't asked what he could do, legislation-wise, to address this.

Coffman is considered one of the most endangered incumbents in the nation. His Colorado House district was re-drawn in 2010, and he defeated a weak Democratic opponent in 2012 by a slim two-percent margin. This year, analysts agree, he faces a much tougher challenger in Democrat Andrew Romanoff. Observers also point out that lower voter turnout, compared that of the presidential year in 2012, could work in Coffman's favor, if voters stay home November.


4 thoughts on “Unchallenged in radio interview, Coffman worries pot legalization could keep Fortune 500 companies out of CO

  1. People who apply for jobs, including the military, for which they might have to pass a urine screen generally know about this, and have the responsibility to stay clean for months beforehand.  Coffman must be aware of this. He's got like 30 years in various branches of the military himself.

    Or maybe he's never had to actually apply and interview for any of the civilian jobs he's had. Either way, his comments here seem clueless.

    He should be like Tancredo – just embrace the ganja.  There's so much money to be made here, tax revenue, business profits, contributions to legislators.  Those Fortune 500 companies aren't backing away from Colorado, they're drooling.

    Wake up, Mikey. Or don't.  We want Romanoff in your job, anyway.

  2. Coffman has a point — the War On Drugs is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Ending Prohibition could result in millions of lost prison-years of incarceration and untold billions in lost executive bonuses.  Do you realize how many fewer private prisons we'll need, and how many thousands of private prison employees that might lose their jobs if this spreads throughout the nation?  

    We're talking an economic disaster of Biblical proportions!  I mean, if those tokers aren't in prison, what are they supposed to do?  Remain productive citizens holding jobs, raising families, and paying taxes when they could be soaking up taxpayer dollars to pay bonuses to the executives in private security companies instead?

    I'm glad we have Mike Coffman representing the CEO's of the world.  Sure beats having to represent the majority of his constituents in CD6!

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