Congressman Jared Polis says marijuana legalization may be on the horizon

Rep. Jared Polis (Kersgaard)

What do U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo have in common? Both think marijuana should be legalized.

What do Denver mayoral candidates Doug Linkhart and James Mejia have in common? Both campaigned at an invitation-only medical marijuana party in Denver Monday night–a party that Polis also attended.

Polis told the crowd of medical marijuana professionals and business owners that their industry is on the bubble, saying it will either be shut down before it ever really gets started or it will take off and become mainstream.

Today, he said, there are about a dozen states with medical marijuana and/or somewhat liberalized marijuana laws. If people want to see medical marijuana–or all marijuana–legalized nationally, he said it will take another dozen states to create the momentum needed for liberalizing laws on a federal basis.

“You’ll get there,” he predicted.

He told people that they need to be involved at every level–local, state and federal if they want to succeed in mainstreaming the marijuana business.

Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which was a sponsor of the party, said “We want to put the black market out of business, so that we can see sales to adults over 21 just as we do with alcohol, which is far more dangerous than cannabis.

State Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, said she was working to ensure that patients who need medical marijuana have access to it. “I am dedicated to that cause,” she said.