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Protesters hold giant sign to legalize marijuana before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to participate in an official arrival ceremony at Parliment House in Canberra, Australia, November 16, 2011.          REUTERS/Larry Downing   (AUSTRALIA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR2U2RV Protesters hold giant sign to legalize marijuana before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to participate in an official arrival ceremony at Parliment House in Canberra, Australia, November 16, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing (AUSTRALIA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR2U2RV  

Dem rep: ‘About 5 percent’ of congressmen probably smoke pot

Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis estimated that about 5 percent of Congress enjoyed his state’s newest legal product — marijuana.

Polis was speaking at a press conference by the National Cannabis Industry Association to push for legalizing marijuana on the federal level.

Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have legalized pot for medical use and Colorado and Washington have legalized it for recreational use by adults. But its possession, use and cultivation remain illegal under federal laws.

When asked to guess how many congressmen got stoned, some reporters snickered, but Polis took the question seriously.

“I don’t think more than five or 10, I guess,” he initially said, adding that the House of Representatives, with 435 members, is reflective of any other large group of people. He said Congress, with an average age of about 60, is reflective of its demographic — about five percent of people aged 50-64 admit to smoking marijuana in the general public, according to a Gallup poll last year.

If Congress is reflective of national trends, he said, “about five percent” of congressmen smoke pot, or about 23 people.

The numbers climb when considering people in that age group who’ve tried it in the past. The Gallup poll showed that 44 percent of people 50-64 have toked up at least once, and 17 percent of those over 65 have done so.

Polis added that he was just guessing.

“I really wouldn’t know because I haven’t seen them use it,” he said.

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