POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Where the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate stand on key Colorado issues ahead of primary

Rivals John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff are offering distinct choices for voters ahead of the June 30 election

  Marijuana


 

Q:

LEGAL CANNABIS

Do you support the legalization of marijuana at the federal level?

Background: Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, the first of 11 states. Medical marijuana legalization has spread to 33 states. But the drug is illegal under federal law, creating barriers for the industry.

Q:

CANNABIS BANKING

Do you support the SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595) to make it easier for marijuana businesses to bank and obtain loans in states where it is legal?

Background: One major consequence of the federal-state split on marijuana legalization is the difficulty of banking. The U.S. House passed the SAFE Banking Act in 2019 to allow marijuana businesses access to financial services like loans, lines of credit and even bank accounts. These financial services are currently difficult to obtain because the drug is illegal at the federal level. The measure won bipartisan support, but has stalled in the U.S. Senate.

 

Yes, he supports the bill

A: Hickenlooper said he supports the measure -- and wants to go even further. He wants to amend the tax code, which he says now penalizes marijuana businesses by preventing them from accessing the same benefits as other companies. One way to level the playing field, he said, is to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and let the states decide whether to legalize it.

 

 

 

He’s supportive

A: Romanoff calls it “absurd” that businesses in the marijuana industry that are legal in Colorado and many other states can’t conduct banking. He says the current system is “an invitation to mischief and crime” and supports the legislation and other efforts to allow marijuana businesses to do interstate banking.

 

 

The Candidates


Click a candidate to see where they stand.


 

John Hickenlooper

John Hickenlooper

Former Colorado governor and Denver mayor   

Andrew Romanoff

Andrew Romanoff

Former state House speaker and director Mental Health Colorado