Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) says that his state’s moves to legalize marijuana and psychedelics have resulted in a “very good” experience—and he believes that adults broadly should have the right to make decisions for themselves about using drugs.
In an interview that was published on Tuesday, John Stossel asked the Democratic governor about various policy positions he holds that happen to align with libertarian principles, including his stance on drug policy issues.
“Yeah, it has been very good,” Polis said of the state-level legalization of marijuana in 2012 and psychedelics last year. “We put a lot of the corner drug dealers out of business. It’s created jobs [and] tax revenue, and it’s led to a safer product.”
Polis signed a bill to implement regulations for the voter-approved psychedelics reform in May. And while possession and personal cultivation is now legal for adults, the regulated “healing centers” where adults will be able to receive substances like psilocybin haven’t been licensed yet, so the governor’s comments about revenue and safe products primarily apply to the state’s marijuana market for now.
Asked if he had any “worries” about the reforms, Polis replied that he thinks “it’s ultimately a matter of personal responsibility.”
“If you want to use marijuana—if you want to drink, if you want to smoke—that’s your prerogative,” he said. “The government shouldn’t be deciding that for you.”
The clip of the interview focused on cannabis and psychedelics—but notably, the governor shared an article that Stossel wrote about the exchange for Reason that carried the more all-encompassing headline, “The Democratic Governor Who Wants Drug Legalization and Free Markets.”
— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) August 2, 2023
At a conference in June, the governor also called on lawmakers to take steps to allow him to issue mass pardons for people with prior psychedelics convictions.
While Polis has embraced the reform, calling psychedelics a “promising” treatment option for certain mental health conditions, he previously declined the opportunity to endorse to proposal ahead of the vote last year.
Following voter approval of the psychedelics legalization measure, he also named members of a Natural Medicine Advisory Board that is meant to help inform the state’s policy.
Meanwhile, the governor also signed a bill into law in June that will allow online marijuana sales.
He also recently approved legislation that will bolster marijuana-related protections for working professionals in the state—effectively codifying an executive order he issued last year.
Image element courtesy of Kristie Gianopulos.
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