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Rep. Jared Polis Criticizes Colorado Governor’s Marijuana Vetoes



U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who is running to be Colorado’s next governor, is calling out the incumbent over his decision to veto three pieces of marijuana legislation, including one bill that would have extended cannabis access to individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) struck down two other bills this week: one that would have allowed for increased investment in the state’s marijuana industry and another that would’ve allowed consumers to sample cannabis products at licensed dispensaries.

Because the legislative session ended last month, the Colorado General Assembly can’t override the vetoes. So it’ll be up to the next governor to bring the legislation back to life.

Polis, who is running for the seat and received an endorsement from NORML last month, hopes to do just that.

“If I have the opportunity to be governor of Colorado, I would sign this bill increasing access for medical marijuana to those on the autism spectrum, enabling investments in legal cannabis businesses that help reduce costs for consumers and create jobs,” Polis told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview.

“I think it’s commonsense.”

The congressman said that, beyond supporting state-level legislative efforts to improve Colorado’s marijuana program, he’d also resist the federal government should it attempt to interfere in the state’s legal system.

“I would make sure that we would not cooperate from the state-level and that state law enforcement resources were not used and information was not shared with any federal agent going after a legal, constitutionally protected Colorado activity.”

President Donald Trump reportedly voiced his support for federal legislation to protect states that legalize cannabis from federal interference in a conversation with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) on Thursday.

But when it comes to the 2020 election, Polis said he hoped “we would have a forward-looking candidate for president that supports what the overwhelming majority of Colorado voters and American voters support, which is regulating marijuana more like alcohol, rather than continuing the failed drug war against marijuana.”

Following backlash from marijuana reform advocates over his veto of the autism medical marijuana bill, Hickenlooper directed his lieutenant governor to sign an executive order that called for research into the “safety and efficacy of medical marijuana for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders in children,” according to a press release.

Senators File Marijuana Bill Following Trump Pledge To Respect State Legalization

Photo courtesy of Polis For Colorado.

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based managing editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.


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