Our View: Wasted Weed Money

March 29, 2013

The legislature and Governor Hickenlooper should take a break from left-wing social engineering and rein in the bureaucracy

‘Tis the season for debates about spending, setting priorities and good fiscal stewardship under the golden dome in Denver.  With the Colorado Senate putting finishing touches on Senate Bill 13-230, otherwise known as the Long Bill, the Colorado General Assembly is on a glide path to spend, spend, spend in the next fiscal year.

Unfortunately for Colorado Democrats, these pesky audits keep putting proverbial crimps in their spending style.

Exhibit A came in the form of a rather scathing audit of the Colorado Energy Office earlier this year.  This audit pointed out the shocking spending habits of this fake agency – as well as the complete lack of any accountability, fiscal controls or procedures to prevent wasteful government spending.

Elected leaders like Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Senate President John Morse (D-Manitou Springs) and Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) all shrugged their shoulders and moved on to more important measures like depriving Coloradans of their 2nd Amendment rights.

Fast forward to this week when the Legislature’s Audit Committee released yet another unbelievable episode of bureaucrats gone wild; this time at the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Putting it nicely, Colorado Auditor Dianne E. Ray said: “Overall, we found that the Division has not managed its resources effectively to meet its objectives.”

Flipping through the 89 page audit, taxpayers get a great glimpse of how government workers behave when given blank checks to spend other people’s money.  $1,000 office chair? Check.  $1,800 for patio furniture? Why not!  33 new government vehicles for 37 employees? How else are we going to get to and from work!?

To be sure, the manner in which the State of Colorado regulates marijuana – both medicinal and recreational – will likely be a matter of controversy for some time.  But people on both sides of the marijuana divide can certainly agree that the way this agency has frivolously flipped the bird to taxpayers is quite offensive.

We hope the audit will prod the legislature and Governor Hickenlooper to take a break from their agenda of left-wing social engineering and exercise some meaningful oversight over these runaway state bureaucracies.

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