On Tuesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed six historic marijuana bills into law formally legalizing the recreational use of pot by adults in Colorado.
Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project and co-director of the Yes on Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado, stopped by MSNBC's "All In" to talk about the landmark new laws with host Chris Hayes.
"By and large, there's a great deal of buy-in," Mason Tvert said to Hayes on the the overall quality and state lawmaker support of the marijuana laws. "Our governor, along with a great number of our state legislators and other state officials, have really come together and put together what is a very robust, comprehensive and responsible regulatory framework. There are certainly still some folks who want to do everything they can to keep adults from using marijuana -- or in some cases punish adults if they use marijuana -- but by and large we're seeing a system coming together, people working in the same direction."
Hayes also asked Tvert about the nascent recreational marijuana industry, a brand new market which some believe could quickly become one of the most lucrative businesses in the world, as former Microsoft manager Jamen Shively recently said about creating the first national brand of retail marijuana, "We're going to mint more millionaires than Microsoft with this business."
"Are you afraid of creating a monster?" Hayes asked Tvert. "I've already seen articles about the industry hiring lobbyists, this will of course be an industry that is very closely regulated and so being able to influence politicians will be very important. Is this going to be a really brutal lobbying battle behind the scenes to figure out how this industry is structured?"
To which, Mason responded: "Well, if you can point to an industry that doesn't have lobbyists and doesn't work to establish policies that will allow it to function, then good luck. The fact is this will be, and already is, an industry like any other, it's an industry that's working to be responsible. Up until this point we have had a marijuana industry in this country and in Colorado -- it has been drug cartels and gangs. We haven't known who's growing marijuana who they are selling it to, where and when or what people are even buying, and now we will have the ability to know that."
"This is a new industry, but this isn't big tobacco," Tvert added. "Tobacco kills about about 400,000 Americans per year, alcohol about 40,000 Americans and marijuana has never killed a single human being in history. That's not to say it shouldn't be regulated and controlled, it's just to say that while this is new and some people might have knee-jerk reactions, we need to treat the product like it is, which is a relatively benign substance that millions of adults use responsibly."
Watch the full interview above.