Page 2 of 2 Previous
"It's a segue drug that I think ends up creating a lot more problems than it solves," Branstad said.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a former Baltimore mayor whose city has dealt with drug addiction, said in a few years other states would know "whether Colorado was able to reduce harm without creating other adverse impacts unforeseen." But the Democrat noted that in Maryland, many job opportunities for young people come from federal agencies or firms with federal contracts that require employees to pass drug tests.
"I don't believe for economic and opportunity reasons that this is an issue where Maryland should serve as that laboratory of democracy," he said.
The Justice Department said last year that it would largely steer clear of state-legal marijuana businesses as long as they follow a series of strict guidelines. A department memo did not give carte blanche to would-be marijuana entrepreneurs, but the legal pot market viewed the department's position as encouraging.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration provided banks with guidance on how to do business with marijuana firms, aiming to make banks feel more comfortable working with marijuana businesses that are licensed and regulated.
Meanwhile, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, said implementation of his state's decision to create a legal pot marketplace was succeeding. He also offered some advice to his fellow governors.
"I would encourage them to follow their state's will," he said. "Our will was to de-criminalize this product. And so far it's working well."