Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joked over the weekend that he’ll use hypnosis to persuade Ohio’s governor to back legalizing marijuana for adult use.
During a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session that started on Saturday night, Polis took a series of drug policy-related questions, including one from a person who asked if he could “convince my governor here in Ohio to allow recreational marijuana.”
“Sure, at the next National Governors [Association] meeting I will hypnotize him and plant the suggestion deep in his psyche,” Polis replied.
It’s not clear the extent to which Gov. Mike DeWine (R) is susceptible to hypnosis, but Polis would have his work cut out for him, as the Ohio official has made clear he’s not supportive of adult-use legalization. In fact, he cited Colorado as an example of why he don’t back the policy change during a gubernatorial debate in 2018, claiming that the state has seen an increase in youth cannabis consumption since legalizing.
But then again, Polis may have second thoughts about using any mind control powers to assist legalization in other states. Shortly after taking office, Polis joked about wanting other states to maintain marijuana prohibition because Colorado’s early move to legalize means more tourists coming to visit and paying taxes on cannabis products.
In any case, the Colorado governor has been known to discuss marijuana policy at National Governors Association meetings. Last year, for example, he made the case that allowing home delivery of cannabis products is one way his state is working to reduce impaired driving. Deliveries launched in select jurisdictions in Colorado in March.
Polis also took a series of other drug policy questions during the Reddit session.
A commenter asked the governor about psychedelics reform, noting that Denver voted to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms last year. But while the person specifically asked about where he stands on decriminalizing and legalizing psychedelics for therapeutic purposes, Polis ducked the question and responded more generally about the state’s current defelonization policy for drug offenses.
“We defelonized most drug possession statewide, I think that includes mushrooms, but it still can be a misdemeanor in most areas,” he said. “I don’t think it’s generally prosecuted unless the person did something else too.”
One person asked about conflicting federal and state marijuana policies, and the governor put the situation simply: “Well the federal government has not arrested anyone that is following our state laws. They theoretically could, but they haven’t and I don’t expect that they will.”
A military veteran said that he’s found cannabis to be more helpful in the treatment of an anxiety disorder compared to traditional pharmaceuticals. However, his current work involves contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, meaning he’s subject to drug testing and could be terminated for testing positive for THC. The individual asked when Polis expects marijuana to be decriminalized federally.
“Should have been yesterday,” the governor said. “I’m really sorry to hear that you have to go through that crap. It’s fully legal in CO.”
Another person asked about whether tax revenue from legal marijuana sales will help offset costs incurred from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Hardly at all, it’s just a tiny part of the overall economy,” he said. “But yes we are grateful for every penny to fund our schools.”
Despite it being “just a tiny part” of the state’s economy, Polis has gone out of his way to ensure that marijuana businesses are supported like any other industry during the pandemic. Last month, he urged a Colorado congressman to push for a policy change allowing cannabis companies to access federal COVID-19 relief that they’re currently barred from receiving due to prohibition.
He’s also shown cannabis leadership in his administration by launching pilot programs aimed at increasing energy efficiency through collaboration between the state’s marijuana and beer industries.
Also during the AMA, Polis talked about the fact that he’s an avid player of the video game League of Legends.
He was also asked whether he’d prefer to take on former Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney in a boxing match to challenge the party’s presumptive 2020 nominee Joe Biden to a push-up contest.
“I could probably beat Joe Biden in a pushup contest,” he said.
Photo courtesy of YouTube/NGA.