01/02/2014 03:19 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Jared Polis Praises Legal Marijuana In Colorado, Vows To Keep Pushing For Federal Legalization

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Vowing to pursue marijuana legalization on a federal level, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) praised the regulation of marijuana in Colorado after the first legal sales of recreational pot began in the state on Wednesday.

"By regulating marijuana like alcohol, Colorado voters hope to reduce crime and keep marijuana away from kids," Polis said in a Jan. 1 statement. "I applaud Colorado's efforts to implement the will of the voters and will continue my work to pass H.R. 499 to regulate marijuana like alcohol federally."

Polis introduced H.R. 499 in February. He tweeted about his efforts on Dec. 31, one day before the first legal pot sale in Colorado:

In March, Polis said his ties with marijuana were "a great association," National Journal reported. Polis' campaign headquarters were located in the same building as a pot dispensary.

In August, Polis praised the Department of Justice for choosing not to sue Colorado and Washington over their marijuana legalization laws, saying he was "thrilled" by the decision.

"This is a big step in allowing small businesses to grow and succeed while following state and federal laws," Polis said. "I am hopeful that other states may see marijuana regulation as an opportunity to reduce crime, combat drug abuse, and enhance economic opportunity.”



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