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Jared Polis, the Democratic Governor of Colorado, recently expressed his positive outlook on the state’s decision to legalize marijuana and psychedelics. He shared his belief that adults should have the autonomy to make their own decisions about drug use, aligning with libertarian principles. In a recent interview with John Stossel, Polis discussed his policy positions, including his stance on drug legalization.

He described the state’s experience with the legalization of marijuana in 2012 and psychedelics in 2022 as “very good,” highlighting the benefits such as job creation, increased tax revenue, and the displacement of illegal drug dealers. He also emphasized the improved safety of these products due to regulation. In May, Polis signed a bill to regulate the use of psychedelics, which had been approved by voters. While the law permits adults to possess and cultivate these substances, the regulated “healing centers” where adults can obtain substances like psilocybin are yet to be licensed.

Therefore, Polis’s comments on revenue and safety primarily pertain to the marijuana market at present. When asked about potential concerns regarding these reforms, Polis expressed his belief in personal responsibility. He stated that adults should have the freedom to decide whether they want to use marijuana, drink, or smoke, without government interference. Polis’s views extend beyond just marijuana and psychedelics. He shared an article written by Stossel on their interview, which carried a broader headline, “The Democratic Governor Who Wants Drug Legalization and Free Markets.” The governor’s tweet sharing the article underscored his advocacy for individual freedom. In June, during a conference, Polis urged lawmakers to allow him to issue mass pardons for individuals with prior convictions related to psychedelics. He has been supportive of the reform, viewing psychedelics as a “promising” treatment option for certain mental health conditions. However, he had previously declined to endorse the proposal prior to last year’s vote. Following the approval of the psychedelics legalization measure by voters, Polis appointed members to a Natural Medicine Advisory Board to guide the state’s policy. In addition, he signed a bill into law in June permitting online marijuana sales and approved legislation to enhance protections for working professionals in the state involved with marijuana—effectively making an executive order he issued last year into law.

By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.