Rep. Jared Polis, Sen. Ted Cruz.
The Denver Post's Mark Matthews reported Friday on some fun Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado is having at the expense of 2016 GOP presidential hopeful and "Tea Party" firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz:
Jared Polis and Ted Cruz are about as far apart on the political spectrum as two lawmakers can get.
But this week the Boulder Democrat and Texas Republican took the same stance on at least one hot-button issue: Colorado’s right to legalize marijuana.
And it's true: at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Cruz paid lip service to Colorado's right to legalize weed.
At the annual gathering of conservative activists and Republican Party leaders, Fox News' Sean Hannity asked Cruz if he thought Colorado's legalization of marijuana was a good idea.
“Look, I actually think this is a great embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the laboratories of democracy,'" Cruz replied. "If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative. I personally don’t agree with it, but that’s their right.”
Rep. Polis, who is sponsoring federal legislation allowing states to legalize marijuana, took the opportunity to co-opt Sen. Cruz's apparent support–though we seriously doubt Polis honestly expects Cruz to co-sponsor his bill. From Polis' statement:
Cruz's defense of local control over marijuana policies comes as members of his party in the House have made outlandish threats of penalties and dire consequences directed at the mayor of Washington, DC as she implements marijuana legalization approved by 70% of her constituents. These threats included the outrageous remarks from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) saying there would be “very severe consequences” and threatening that DC Mayor Muriel Bowser “can go to prison for this.”
“I’m proud to join with Ted Cruz in calling on our colleagues in Congress to respect the right of local citizens to decide how to regulate marijuana use, without federal government interference,” said Rep. Polis. “My bipartisan bill, the ‘Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act,’ would do just want Sen. Cruz now supports, leaving it to the states to regulate marijuana how they see fit, and I look forward to seeing Mr. Cruz introduce companion legislation in the Senate, which I expect he will do imminently.”
In case you were still wondering is Polis was being serious here, his statement concludes:
Polis also praised Cruz’s support of the local dispensaries in Colorado, where Cruz told attendees at CPAC the brownies they enjoyed had come from. He did warn Senator Cruz that under current federal law, transporting them across state lines was illegal, although TSA agents, who may go without pay if the Republican Department of Homeland Security shutdown occurs, may have been more worried about whether they were going to be able to make rent. [Pols emphasis]
Ouch. So no, not buddies! And Cruz isn't likely to sign on with Polis to do anything. With that said, the shift in Cruz's position on Colorado marijuana legalization is large and notable, compared to his very different view just a year ago–Raw Story: