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Rep. Jared Polis mocks Colorado’s new DEA chief

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 17:42 EDT
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Rep Jared Polis at TED Boulder by David Fellows
 
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Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado on Wednesday poked fun at his state’s new head drug enforcement agent, joking that the Drug Enforcement Agency’s new motto was “protecting America from mold and water damage.”

Barbra Roach, the chief of Denver’s Drug Enforcement Administration, recently told the Denver Post that medical marijuana was dangerous because it caused “mold and water damage” in the homes of people who grew it.

“That’s just a very strange thing to say,” Polis wrote on Facebook. “No doubt that some idiots have flooded their basements growing marijuana. No doubt that some idiots have flooded their basements growing tomatoes. I stained my tiles in my living room last year growing narcissus. Ok. So for this we need a federal cop busting people?”

“The fact that an opponent of medical marijuana uses arguments like ‘it causes water damage to homes’ shows how bankrupt that side is of facts,” he added.

Polis has previously called for an end to the war on drugs, proposing legislation to eliminate funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and other bills.

In an effort to pressure members of Congress to support controversial reforms like drug legalization, Polis launched the Fearless Campaign last year. The campaign seeks to “revolutionize our nation’s approach to six issues where special interests have blocked progress for too long: drug policy, education, food policy, immigration, internet freedom and LGBT equality.”

Last year, Colorado became the first state in the nation to begin issuing licenses for businesses that sell medical marijuana and marijuana-infused products and also formally asked the Drug Enforcement Agency to reclassify marijuana. Currently, the DEA classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug: the most restrictive classification reserved for dangerous drugs with no real medical value.

Although Colorado has legalized medical marijuana, those who distribute the drug still risk running afoul of federal law. The Obama administration’s Department of Justice has made a practice of not prosecuting medical marijuana patients in states where the drug has been approved, but it still considers distributors to be fair game for arrest.

In January, U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent letters to 23 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, warning them that they faced legal repercussions if they did not close down within 45 days.

The residents of Colorado will have a chance to legalize the recreational use of marijuana this November.

“I truly wish Agent Roach well,” Polis said. “In her defense, she’s a cop not a public speaker or public relations person, but I hope she is more careful with her words in the future.”

Photo credit: David Fellows

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
 
 
 
 
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