Don't debate legal marijuana; debate the policy, says Colorado's now former pot czar

If he could redo legalization, he'd get better stats on things such as impaired driving.

DENVER - The man who shaped marijuana legalization for the state of Colorado left his government job this week, but before his last day, he traveled to Capitol Hill. Andrew Freedman told Congress to move past debating whether to legalize marijuana.

"You're not moving anybody's mind that way, and so I challenge everybody to flip it all on its head and say, what is it you're actually trying to achieve? Plus, a quarter of America now lives in a state with recreational marijuana, so regardless of where you sit on it, we have to figure it out," Freedman said, in an interview with Next.

However, it seems like while a large number of Americans support legalized recreational marijuana, members of Congress don't seem to want their name anywhere near the topic. Democratic Representative Jared Polis, of Boulder, is part of a Cannabis Caucus in Washington now; the number of the people in that group could be counted on one hand. Freedman guesses a transition will be made nationally, much like it happened in Colorado.

"When it gets up and running in a couple of these states, and the problems are in their backyard, and you don't get banking, or you don't get access to research, so that you know what CBD oils do for little kids, that will change pretty quickly," he said. "It's going to be what we saw in Colorado, which was, at first, it was a very hands off issue. And now, I would say every legislature knows how to talk about this at length. 

Freedman touched on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' stance on marijuana. Freedman believes that of all the items on Sessions' to-do list, marijuana isn't so high.

You can watch our full interview here:

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