Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo. (Erin Hull, Denver Post file)

Jared Polis to N.J. politician: Boulder not filled with stoned zombies

Rep. Jared Polis had some choice words (some might even say shade) in a letter he penned to a New Jersey assemblyman who made unkind remarks about Boulder — specifically that the Pearl Street Mall is overrun with the undead, who are not only dirty but zoned out on recreational weed.

An article posted on Tuesday in the New Jersey Herald asked nine candidates for the state assembly their views on recreational pot. The Democratic and Green Party candidates support it. The Republicans oppose it.

Incumbent Assemblyman Parker Space, a Republican, took it a step further, however, and told the story of one of his constituent’s visits to Boulder and “how disgusting he found it.”

“People lying in the walkable town center, stoned, dirty and like zombies that you practically had to walk over,” Space recounted to the Herald. “What’s worse is that some actually had their children with them. He told me not to let this happen to Sussex County.”

Polis took issue with the Space’s comments and responded in kind.

“It sounds like your constituent might have visited our iconic Pearl Street Mall during our Halloween ‘Mall Crawl,’ which is the only time that zombies are found in our central downtown area,” Polis wrote in a letter dated Wednesday.

He wrote that the Pearl Street Mall is a popular and safe tourist destination, the center of Boulder’s downtown commerce and offers “excellent food, talented buskers and nightlife.

“And, yes, in our town we do bring our children to Pearl Street,” Polis continued. He sent a photograph of his son along with the correspondence.

“I would also note that you can clearly see in the background that the mall is not disgusting,” Polis wrote. “One final point, not only is marijuana smoking not allowed on our mall, we don’t even allow cigarette smoking. We are a clean living town.”

The congressman summed up by pointing out that legal marijuana has brought 23,000 jobs and generated $200 million in tax revenue to Colorado. He offered to hook up Space with local police agencies, business owners and members of the health care community “to learn more about our actual experience.

“I hope that you and your family are able to visit soon,” Polis wrote in closing. “I look forward to showing you our beautiful town.”

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