Congressman Jared Polis: “Just as The Policy of Prohibition Failed Nationally With Alcohol – It’s Now Up To States And Counties – I Think We Should Do The Same With Marijuana”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 8, 2011

    United States Congressman Jared Polis, a Democrat representing Colorado’s second congressional district, is quickly establishing himself as one of the most outspoken federal critics of marijuana prohibition. This week he appeared on CBS’s Political Hotseat to discuss the success of Colorado’s medical marijuana law, and the futility of federal marijuana prohibition.

    Rep. Jared Polis: Federal government shouldn’t be banning marijuana
    via CBS News

    Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis said Wednesday that the federal government should not be in the business of regulating marijuana use by Americans.

    “I don’t see a federal role,” he said in a “Washington Unplugged” interview, noting that his state is among those that allow medical marijuana use. (There is also a push in Colorado for full legalization.) “I don’t think that the federal side should be coming in and second guessing what states are doing.”

    “Just as the policy of prohibition failed nationally with alcohol – it’s now up to states and counties – I think we should do the same with marijuana,” he said.

    … Polis said it’s apparent that “we are not winning the drug war,” pointing to increased drug abuse and the flow of drugs across the southern border from criminal cartels.

    “Drug abuse is fundamentally a medical issue, a health issue, more than a criminal issue,” he said.
    The lawmaker asked people to ask themselves how they would want someone close to them to be treated if they were struggling with drug abuse.

    “Do you think that person would have been better served by being in jail for several years or getting the help they needed to end their chemical dependency?” he asked.

    Polis also pointed to a recent study finding that marijuana is already a $1.7 billion industry.

    “It’s already created thousands of jobs in Colorado, several millions dollars of tax revenue – I really think that’s just the tip of the iceberg with regard to the potential of the industry in terms of job creation, revenue creation for the government,” he said.

    You can watch multiple video clips from Polis’ interview here.

    Like what you hear? You can hear more from Rep. Polis at NORML’s upcoming national conference, April 21 through April 23 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver, Colorado. Congressman Polis is this year’s Conference keynote speaker and will deliver Saturday’s luncheon lecture.

    You can learn more about this year’s NORML Conference agenda and social events online here. Conference registration information is online here.

    We look forward to seeing you in Denver.

    79 Responses to “Congressman Jared Polis: “Just as The Policy of Prohibition Failed Nationally With Alcohol – It’s Now Up To States And Counties – I Think We Should Do The Same With Marijuana””

    1. Jeedi says:

      I too am proud to live in Colorado. I feel I live in a marijuana paradise. It seems like everyone smokes marijuana, and there are head shops and grow shops all over. And it does not feel like the cops are out to bust you for weed. It feels like the cops are our friends. I can visit any number of dispensaries close to my home and get a variety of strains, hash, edibles… We just had the first Medical Cannabis Cup earlier this month, and we have other marijuana events throughout the year like Kushcon. I feel Colorado is leading the world of legal cannabis and politicians like Jared Polis are the FUTURE.

    2. […] Congressman Jared Polis: “Just as The Policy of Prohibition Failed … […]

    3. Chris says:

      Re-legalize Cannabis Now

    4. Joel: the other Joel says:

      How will the “War on Cannabis” end?

    5. Cat Cassie says:

      I’m proud to say I’m from CO. Thank you Congressman Polis. YEAH!! Go get um baby!! We are all behind you 100%.

    6. sirteachyou says:

      How you donate to Congressman Jared Polis reelection campaign? I will gladly donate to help him get reelected. He is a champion of the people against an intrusive Federal Government and the DEA who violate our states rights.

    7. 3141 - Brethren of the Genesist Faith says:

      All this bullshit is bringing the “Kick Ass American” out of me. Don’t fuckin’ tread on me. If prohibs think that they’re going to violate my Constitutional right to “have my God and my God’s Sacrament” – or my freedom – they’re severely brain damaged – and – should be institutionalized immediately.

      “Prohibitionist’s actions and words speak loudly for the essence of their souls.”

      So! – now we know with certainty [what] prohibs are made of – the content of their character. They are absent character and unmoved by the suffering of others. God have mercy on what little, if any, soul they have left – or – are their souls too far gone to receive mercy. Reality says – the only mercy they deserve, after so disgracing we the people, is to allow them to quietly leave the office we placed them in – with their skin intact – because – prohibs souls are missing in action (MIA) – more likely absent without leave (AWOL). Reflecting on the emotions of all their victims – if they leave with their “heads hung in shame” – without a kind word for the results of their vile actions – that will be too good for them. As far as political correctness is concerned – I am as politically correct as can be.

    8. John says:

      I love how politicians always talk about sending the wrong message to kids. What about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Isn’t that both the definition of insanity and what we’re doing in the drug war? Are we teaching kids to be crazy by keeping marijuana ILLEGAL?

    9. Brett says:

      Jared Polis rocks. He also does a lot of good work with non profit organizations in CO. I personally have seen the donations (computers and computer services) in play making a difference. He’s been brave and honest when talking about cannabis and I’m so grateful to have a representative that is actually speaking some sense. Wish I had the extra cash to get into the NORML conference and hear that speech, but alas I’m doing the student thing on a tight budget.

      I hope that more rep’s start following Jared’s lead. We need more people speaking out on this issue to represent the millions of cannabis users who are being unjustly persecuted.

    10. longbud says:

      Really good to see some positve media input concerning mj.I live in Marijuana Mad Montana. Where our Gov. sits with a repeal bill to stop mdmj. on his desk waiting to be signed.It has been an all out war against it here.With some low down sneaky abuse of power.Useing the media,children and the Feds to try and make a mockery of the medical marijuana.Taking away a 62% of what the people voted for.I am a patient with very serious spinal injury and all this talk has made my condition worse.If I am to be forced to stop I will probably die in jail.

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