Congressman Who Champions Cannabis Running for Colorado Governor

There’s a new candidate for governor in Colorado, and he’s all in for cannabis. Congressman Jared Polis (D) is well positioned to make a serious bid for the office. He’s been in Congress since 2008, and he’s currently the sixth wealthiest person in that body, with a net worth of $91 million. He’s also a founding member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

This week, the powerhouse cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg hosted a fundraiser for Polis that was attended by more than 250 donors who each paid $100 to attend. In his speech, Polis said, “With legalization spreading across other states, the challenge for our next governor is for Colorado to maintain its leadership role in this industry. Because we want those jobs right here in Colorado.”

Referring to Governor Hickenlooper’s grudging support of the cannabis industry, Polis said, “We’ve had lukewarm leadership at the state level. For us to take the industry to the next level, we need a real champion in the governor’s mansion.”

When Westword asked Polis earlier this summer about his stance on cannabis, he answered, “I think we can take some pride as Coloradans that we helped pave the way when it comes to a sensible, rational drug policy in our state. And in the next decade, there are going to be new challenges, and our state is up for that — particularly as new states follow suit. We want to make sure our state maintains its leadership role in the cannabis industry, and that we have more and expanded job opportunities here in the cannabis industry. We also want to make sure that we have various strategies to counter underage use of marijuana, and we want to be a leader in that, as well.”

But Polis is about a lot more than just cannabis. His platform includes significant changes in education (universal full-day kindergarten and preschool), the environment (his goal is to have Colorado running 100% on renewable energy by 2040), and in the economic sector (he supports profit sharing and raising the minimum wage).

Regardless of your political leanings, it’s refreshing to see a serious gubernatorial candidate who wholeheartedly supports the cannabis industry.