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Sensi Magazine

Vice President Hickenlooper?

Jul 18, 2016 11:32AM ● By Randy Robinson

Gov. John Hickenlooper at his victory speech for Colorado's governorship in 2010 (Photo by Aranami from Flickr Creative Commons)

On Friday, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton met with three prominent Democrats at her home in Washington. The lunch date concerned who would be her running mate for the 2016 presidential election.

One of those three Democrats was Colorado's very own Gov. John Hickenlooper. 

Hickenlooper first became governor of Colorado in 2011. Prior to that, he served two terms as Denver's mayor from 2003 to 2011. 

During his time as governor, Hickenlooper witnessed the explosion of dispensary growth that followed President Obama's 2009 Ogden Memo. In 2012, he signed Amendment 64 into law, the bill which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado and created a statewide regulatory framework for sales, cultivation, and distribution. 

Initially, Hickenlooper opposed Amendment 64 because he feared marijuana was a "gateway drug." After it passed, he didn't challenge the law in accordance with the voters' will. "Don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly," he cautioned Colorado's residents. 

Over the years, Hickenlooper's stance on marijuana shifted. Shortly after legalization, he lamented that he didn't want Colorado "known for marijuana." Yet in May, during a 60 Minutes interview, he said, the state's regulatory system is "beginning to look like it might work."

Last week, the Democratic National Convention outlined its new platform for 2016. Removing marijuana from Schedule I classification, the most restrictive classification for drugs, was one of the Democratic Party's key issues. That Hickenlooper oversaw the nation's first legal marijuana market may indicate that the Democrats – and Clinton in particular – are taking legalization seriously.

Hickenlooper was joined by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro as potential vice presidential picks.