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Colorado's governor: Legalizing marijuana was "reckless"

Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper speaks during the 2011 Governors Summit of U.S. Chamber of Commerce June 20, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Alex Wong, Getty Images

It was "reckless" of Colorado voters in 2012 to approve the legalization of marijuana, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a debate Monday.

"I'm not saying it was reckless because I'll get quoted everywhere, but if it was up to me, I wouldn't have done it, right?" Hickenlooper said, the Denver Post reports. "I opposed it from the very beginning. Oh, what the hell, I'll say it was reckless."

Both Hickenlooper and his Republican challenger, Bob Beauprez, oppose the law. Both, however, have said the law should be enforced now that it's on the books.

The state's first retail marijuana stores opened for business in January, and so far, there haven't been any disastrous effects. As the International Business Times notes, the state has raised tens of millions in new tax revenues, and traffic fatalities in the state are near historic lows.

Still, Hickenlooper said Monday that he thought residents of his state didn't have enough data about the health effects of legalization before approving the law.

One other state, Washington, legalized recreational marijuana use for adults in 2012, even though marijuana possession for any reason is still a federal crime. It's on the ballot this year in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C.