Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Polis Extends Colorado Cannabis Invite to Obama, Reid

Rep. jared Polis

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jared Polis wants President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to come see how Colorado is implementing its new marijuana legalization laws.

Polis, a Colorado Democrat and cheerleader of his state’s new legalized marijuana laws, told CQ Roll Call he wants the two leaders to “visit a regulated store and a growing operation with me to see our Colorado laws enforced. It’ll only reinforce their emerging beliefs when see what we’re doing in Colorado.”

In a letter that will be sent on Thursday, Polis extends the invite and thanks Obama and Reid for their “recent comments regarding your shifting positions on the regulation and legalization of marijuana.”

Obama recently said marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, and noted that minorities and low-income populations are disproportionately affected by marijuana criminalization. Reid last week said, “We waste a lot of time and law enforcement” on marijuana.

While Polis agrees that marijuana legalization is “not necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution to the most pressing social problems of the day, and that it is a vice with potential negative health effects,” he did write that he was “confident that when you see Colorado’s work to implement the law while protecting children and raising revenue for our schools firsthand, we can begin to make similar efforts on a federal level.”

Polis ended his letter by noting that he looks forward to the president’s and the majority leader’s responses.

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