POLITICS
03/22/2013 10:02 am ET | Updated Mar 22, 2013

Jared Polis: Marijuana Was A 'Great Association For Me' In 2012 Campaign

Associating with popular individuals -- whether they're celebrities, local leaders or other politicians -- is a key strategy in any political campaign. But in Rep. Jared Polis' (D-Colo.) 2012 reelection effort, that popular entity wasn't a person but a plant: marijuana.

"My campaign headquarters last summer, we shared [a building] with a dispensary,” Polis said while visiting a pot dispensary this week, National Journal reports. "You could see the sign, it was like: 'Marijuana, Jared Polis.' Marijuana outperformed me by 10 points, so it was a great association for me."

Polis spoke about his campaign from the soon-to-be-opened Metropolitan Wellness Center in Washington, D.C. With him were Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Hill staffers, marijuana advocates and center employees. According to National Journal, within months, "certain D.C. residents will be able to come [to the center] to legally choose from more than a dozen strains of medical marijuana, from Master Kush to Blue Dream."

Last year, voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized marijuana use. It remains illegal under federal law, however.

National Journal notes that Polis and Blumenauer have introduced legislation to end the federal prohibition and set up a way to tax the sale of cannabis.

Last month, Polis did an "Ask Me Anything" conversation on Reddit. One user asked him which "moneyed interests" were blocking progress on marijuana legalization.

"The law enforcement industrial complex," Polis replied. "All those on the gravy train of the drug war which means parts of law enforcement and their private sector vendors."

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