Tancredo backs out of vow to smoke pot, now that it's legal in Colorado

Former Rep.Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.

Former Rep.Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.  (REUTERS)

Former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo is going back on his vow to smoke pot if his home state of Colorado legalized marijuana.

Tancredo on Friday told a local TV station that going through with the bet would set a bad example for his grandchildren.

Colorado residents in November voted in support of a referendum that legalizes the state production and sale of marijuana for adult use.

Tancredo, who says he does not smoke pot, made the promise to a film producer working on a documentary about the Amendment 64 effort before the votes were taken.

On Wednesday, Tancredo told FoxNews.com that he would follow through on the vow.

"I made a bet with the producer of the film that if Amendment 64 passed ( I did not think it would) that I would smoke pot," he said through his research and education institute, the Rocky Mountain Foundation. "I will therefore smoke pot under circumstances we both agree are legal under Colorado law.”

However, he apparently changed his mind a couple of days later.

“I am especially concerned that the publicity may cause my grandkids to have to justify my actions to their peers and afraid that no matter how many times I say I am NOT condoning the use of marijuana, that that message will not get through,” said Tancredo, according to an email posted by Denver TV station KUSA. “My grandchildren are extremely precious to me and I would never want to do anything that puts them in a difficult situation.”

Tancredo was a surprise-but-solid supporter of the referendum, saying the effort aligns with his long-held conservative views that federal efforts to prohibit adult marijuana use is a prime example of “wasteful and ineffective” government.

He also argued the marijuana black market is funding drug cartels and that the United States is spending tens of billions annually on prohibition efforts while studies show Colorado alone could make $60 million a year on state-run production and sales.