Republican presidential candidate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaks at the Western Conservative Summit at the Centennial Institute, Colorado Christian University's think tank, in Denver on June 27. (Brennan Linsley, AP)

Rick Perry: ‘I defend the right of Colorado to be wrong on (marijuana)’

The former Texas governor and current Republican presidential candidate is anti-legalization, pro-states' rights

A whole bunch of Republican presidential candidates were in Denver over the weekend for the Western Conservative Summit, and while most of them used the platform to speak against the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on gay marriage, some took advantage of the opportunity to talk on Colorado’s uniquely legal crop: Marijuana.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry — who was given a B in a recent all-candidate pot policy report card by legalization advocacy group the Marijuana Policy Project — had strong words against cannabis legalization but for a state’s right to experiment with such a controversial issue.

From The Associated Press’ story:

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry derided the (Supreme Court’s gay marriage) ruling but didn’t suggest a next step.

“These decisions need to be made in the states,” said Perry, who noted that his states’ rights plank extends even to Colorado legalizing recreational marijuana in defiance of federal drug law.

“I defend the right of Colorado to be wrong on that issue,” Perry said. The crowd chuckled.

A couple of Perry’s competitors have come out with nearly identical stances on legal weed and state experiments — including Jeb Bush, who said in February, “I thought it was a bad idea, but states ought to have the right to do it.”

The MPP’s report card said this of Perry’s marijuana policy: “Gov. Perry opposes the legalization of marijuana, but he has voiced support for reducing penalties for marijuana possession. He has repeatedly expressed support for states’ rights to establish their own marijuana policies.”