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Pennsylvania Democratic Party Adopts Marijuana Legalization Into Policy Platform

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director September 19, 2017

    pa demsEarlier this month, citing racism, bigotry, and mass-incarceration, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party adopted a resolution to “support Democratic candidates and policies which promote the full repeal of cannabis prohibition by its removal from the Controlled Substances Act, and to support the creation of new laws which regulate it in a manner similar to other culturally accepted commodities.”

    The resolution was drafted by Derek Rosenzweig, long-time cannabis activist from Pennsylvania and former board member of PhillyNORML. This change in party policy comes as Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale continues to be a loud and active voice for state and held a seminar on legalization the day before the vote.

    Thanks to Derek and all of those working hard to change hearts, minds, and the law in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.

    Click here to send a message to your federally elected officials in support of HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act

    Read the full resolution below.

    Resolution – Platform Policy on the Legalization of Marijuana/Cannabis

    WHEREAS, The prohibition of cannabis was based on racism and bigotry, but not science or sound reasoning [Testimony of Harry J. Anslinger – Marihuana Tax Act of 1937; Findings of LaGuardia Committee & Shafer Commission]

    WHEREAS, The government, at all levels, regulates the legal sale of substances known through scientific rigor to be harmful or deadly to humans, by means other than the Controlled Substances Act

    WHEREAS, Cannabis is one of the most well-studied plants in human history [Google Scholar search for `”cannabis sativa” OR marijuana` produces 556,000 results]

    WHEREAS, As of September, 2017, the People and legislatures of 28 states, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have already legalized cannabis for medical purposes; 8 states (plus Washington D.C.) have ended prohibition on cannabis and have legalized, regulated markets for adult recreational use

    WHEREAS, Cannabis is regularly used safely and responsibly without medical supervision by almost two million Pennsylvanians [SAMHSA 2012: 20.2% respondents aged 15 and older use cannabis; PA 2010 Census 9,861,456 aged 15 or older]

    WHEREAS, Cannabis does not fit any of the criteria to be placed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act [Act of Apr. 14, 1972 P.L. 233, No. 64; Section 4-1]

    WHEREAS, Approximately 25,000 People are arrested per year for possession, sale, or cultivation of cannabis on a State and local level in Pennsylvania

    WHEREAS, The Commonwealth spends unknown millions of dollars per year enforcing prohibition policies

    WHEREAS, The current Auditor General of Pennsylvania has publicly called for the immediate legalization and regulation of cannabis specifically for judicial, criminal justice, and economic benefits

    WHEREAS, The black market resulting from the prohibition of cannabis is opaque to public entities, is
    totally unregulated, and is thus not a good outcome of policy

    WHEREAS, The prohibition of cannabis has had no meaningful positive effect, as it is widely available in
    the Commonwealth. In over 80 years, the prohibition of cannabis has not achieved its stated goals

    WHEREAS, Pennsylvanians have been arrested, imprisoned, fined, or otherwise punished and stigmatized
    resulting in lost productivity and quality of life for their possession or use of cannabis

    WHEREAS, Approximately 56% – 61% of Pennsylvanians support the full legalization of cannabis [May
    2017 Franklin & Marshall Poll; August 2017 Quinnipiac University Poll]

    WHEREAS, The DNC included support for legalization in the party platform in 2016

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED , to adopt an official platform position which recognizes the above facts about cannabis. The Party resolves that cannabis is safe enough, and ubiquitous enough in society, that it does not need to be restricted or prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act.

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, to support Democratic candidates and policies which promote the full repeal of cannabis prohibition by its removal from the Controlled Substances Act, and to support the creation of new laws which regulate it in a manner similar to other culturally accepted commodities.

    Submitted by: ______________________ Cynthia Purvis
    Date: ______________

     

    28 Responses to “Pennsylvania Democratic Party Adopts Marijuana Legalization Into Policy Platform”

    1. The Big Picture says:

      Racism? Bigotry? Mass incarceration? The much bigger problem is the corruption of the US government! Read “The Underground Empire”, a book by James R. Mills, which details a DEA operation called CENTAC, which sought to quell the drug trade by going after the kingpins. Guess what happened?

      As the imvestigation proceeded it ran into interference from other Federal agencies. This is set during the time of the Iran-Contra scandal.

      After the end of the Chinese Civil War, won by Mao’s Communists, the Americans wanted a way to get information from behind the Bamboo Curtain. In order to do so, Kuomintang generals who had set up shop in Burma to conduct their opium trade, were recruited to get intel for us in exchange for our protecting the drug trafficking of these former warlords. We got very little intel out of the deal by the way.

      Sometimes you have to see the Big Picture to see how truly scary a situation is!

      • Negative Nancy says:

        Oh nonsense. You would rationalize these things away with irrelevance and noise; that only makes you complicit.

        You stink of Trump.

        • Evening Bud says:

          Negative Nancy,

          Methinks you’re right. I noticed there’s nothing about the corrupt corporations in his comments. You know, the entities that control our government. The military-industrial complex is called just that because our military is controlled by big industry.

          Nothing about that “Big Picture”? Only a symptom of a bad government but not bad private corporations?

          • Negative Nancy says:

            Evening Bud,
            Yes, exactly. Trumpcare, for example, is universally hated for it’s inhumanity. So who is pushing for it? Corrupt corporate power.

            From Daily Kos:

            Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy have pulled together a bill that by all accounts is the worst option yet. Given how bad the other Republican healthcare bills have been, that’s quite the feat. They pulled this bill out of thin air because they are desperate to vote on something before a Sept. 30 deadline. Here is why the deadline is important. From Politico:

            But Republicans are up against a tight deadline. Their budget reconciliation bill, which allows them to overhaul Obamacare with a simple majority, expires on Sept. 30. The deadline could work to Graham’s and Cassidy’s advantage, however, by spurring hesitant Republicans to seize what may be their last opportunity to deliver on their seven-year promise to repeal Obamacare.
            Graham and Cassidy are pulling out all the stops in their attempt to sway votes ahead of this deadline. They’ve even gone so far as to promise key swing vote Sen. Lisa Murkowski that Alaska can keep Obamacare! You cannot make that up.

            So why are Republicans so laser-focused on gutting health care and tackling “tax reform,” which is nothing more than cutting taxes for the wealthy? Because The Swamp ordered them to do it and Republicans are beholden to their swamp masters above all others. The Koch brothers went to a Republican retreat in June and ordered them to gut health care and cut taxes—or else:

            At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

            One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

            • Evening Bud says:

              True that. This is what happens when certain politicos–Cons, GOPers, etc–spend their careers attacking government, and doing their damndest to prove that it doesn’t work, usually by sabotaging as much legislation as possible. They’ve proven themselves a party of obstruction–and almost little else.

              Right now they can’t figure out how to pass legislation–though they control all 3 branches of the Fed–because they’re not wired to govern, they’re wired to obstruct.

              This “health care” bill of theirs goes beyond obscene, and even McCain and maybe a few other GOPers know that, are too embarrassed to back it. The health of Americans don’t matter to them–everything to them is about political advantage, and, of course, tax cuts for their mega-rich donors (and themselves, of course).

              This is the party that is also doing its damndest to keep MJ illegal. They never saw a donation they didn’t love, and you know Big Pharma is pumping that money in, even as we speak. The reason we see so many Cons and Liberts on this forum dropping the name of Rohrbacher is because that’s almost all they have.

    2. Julian says:

      This is the result of citizen lobbying. Good work!

      And Wheras marijuana legalization is about both the defending the natural right to our own personal freedom and sustaining our common freedom and survival as a species to coevolve as sustainable components of our living planet… cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, hemp and marijuana must be descheduled entirely with prejiduce from the Controlled Substances Act to compensate for the tax-funded damages since 1970 including but not limited to murder and organized crime within the DOJ and Treasury (ACLU) subsidized miseducation by NIDA (PubMed) patents of cannabis during prohibition in violation of antitrust laws using vital organic compounds that must be made open source, ( USP 2013056269 A2, USP 6630507), damages suffered from unjust incarcerations for profit from private prisons,(NORML, ACLU), synthetic prescriptions profit to lobby against legalization (Insys Therapeutics, Sacklers and the DEA) and money laundering through marijuana prohibition (Sheldon Adleson, HSBC, Bank of America, etc.)

    3. Mark Mitcham says:

      Your move, Republicans. Either get with the program called “human civilization,” or continue your delusional descent into ignorance, depravity, and violence with your fascist, racist, Nazi-loving ass-clown Donald Trump.

      What’s it going to be?

    4. Dr Vector says:

      Its reassuring to see so many obvious truths all in one place. The more individuals who see this list the better. Any unbiased logical person can discern that legalization solves much more problems than the drug war creates.

      glad to see it’s acceptance closer and closer to mainstream politics

    5. nancy dorris says:

      I don’t understand how they don’t see the right thing to do but also all the money they could help country out of debt with threw taxing it plus all the jobs it would create for each state…especially each hard hit poorer states

    6. TheOracle says:

      Many thanks to Les & Erica, and kudos to everyone involved as well!

      Les, just saw each other and chatted this summer at the event in Bethlehem.

      This is great progress, you know, but to hear the talking heads on PCN’s call-in show talk about a sin tax on recreational cannabis being out of the question for the Republican-controlled legislature to consider as a new revenue stream is disheartening.

      I realize they’re lying through their teeth, though, as usual, and are just waiting for the state to be in so much financial pain that their prohibitionist R-voters cave to legalization. Being short $2 billion for the budget they already passed, the Rs in the PA legislature want to raid reserve funds of various departments, and next fiscal year when there is nothing left to raid, they will have put the hurt on the voters. What a plan! It’s all hush-hush and behind closed-doors whispering.

      Once such R-voter currently opposed–IMHO because the hurt is not on yet–told me at the E-Fair that he thought it would result in a bunch of zombies walking around on the streets causing trouble, and bring in out-of-staters who would add to the homeless problem.

      Hopefully it will get the R-voters to cross party lines and vote for Dems.

      I will be scraping together some funds, and donating to you at the Keystone Cannabis Coalition. http://www.keystonecannabiscoalition.org/donate/

      • Evening Bud says:

        The friggin’ R’s are such Neanderthals sometimes. Actually the Neanderthals were probably more enlightened than this pack of conservative throw-backs.

        Reading Oracle’s descriptions of some of their attitudes shows their stubbornness. They don’t need facts when they’re minds are already made up on issue after issue.

        They’re the only major party in any country on Earth that still doesn’t believe in friggin’ climate change. Even Neanderthals weren’t that thick-headed. Course Neanderthals didn’t have corporate money shoved up their asses 24/7.

        But I honestly believe their stubbornness on the MJ legalization issue is gonna come back and bite ’em on their corporate-stuffed asses.

        Folks, we gotta vote these clowns out of office–they’re killing us.

        • Julian says:

          Evening Bud,
          As someone who is %2 Neanderthal I take offense to your statement…
          Haha… joking of course. About being offended. That %2 is real according to the swab-test. Guess somewhere %2 of our ancestors were able to make peace and negotiate around their political and gentic differences. I wonder if some weed and a good camp fire had anything to do with that?

          • Julian says:

            “Genetic”

          • Dain Bramage says:

            I wonder what prehistoric pot was like…

          • Evening Bud says:

            Geez Julian,

            Believe me, I’ve nothing against Neanderthals! Perhaps you should stop smoking that prehistoric stuff . . . lol. Seriously, I’m sure I’ve got some of the DNA myself. In fact, I’m wondering now if we’d all have been better off if we were 100% Neanderthal–Home Sapiens don’t exactly have a sterling record on this planet.

            It IS interesting that early Man or Cro Magnon occasionally mated with Neanderthal–the latter has traditionally been portrayed as knuckle-draggers, just barely more intelligent than apes, when in fact they seemed to be as developed as our primary ancestors in many ways. I’ve sometimes wondered if they were far more mellow than our ancestors and were early victims of genocide . . .

            As far as the prehistoric pot, maybe that’s what got them in the mood to do all that great cave artwork. Maybe one of these days some archeologist will find a prehistoric pipe, packed with a prehistoric bud.

            I can hear ’em round the campfire now: “Hey bro, this is good stuff. What’s it called?”

            “It’s called Purple Mammoth, man, er Neander, just scored on OZ.”

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Watch out for the Sabertooth Kush! It will rip your damn head off!! Good shit!

            • mexweed says:

              That cave art couldn’t exist without the use of light from bundled weedstalk torches emitting smoke that filled the cave and influenced the ideas of the art inscribers.
              .
              PS. “In the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat bread…” after Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden by Grandpaw alias Gawd because it was Fall and they were putting on Clothes, they sat in hot & smoky Mom’s Kitchen with ?Weedstalks in the Cooking Fire…

            • Julian says:

              While its a safe bet that the sativa our neanderthal ancestors were eating and inhaling was nowhere near as potent as today’s weed nonetheless it had some psychoactive properties, even as far back as 50,000 years ago. The answer to whether neanderthals had primitive access to our favorite herb is a “where” and “when” question.

              Current scientific consensus is that neanderthals diverged from homo sapiens around the time fire was harnessed, roughly 516,000 years ago;

              https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/science/2006/nov/16/fossils.research

              The fossil record suggests that the last remaining neandethals died out some 40,000 years ago as homo sapiens began to migrate into Europe, although some records suggest they held out until the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago before glaciers retreated across the continent. This is important because we have conclusive evidence that cannbis sativa reached Eurasia by 10,000 BC. Either way cannabis sativa had already evolved by this point some 50,000 years ago in the Asian steppes, before the earliest signs of neanderthal extinction.
              The jury is still out:
              http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap1/Cavemen.htm

              But from my limited research this morning judging from the time and location of the fossil record as Clarke and Merlin’s ethobotanical account suggests, sativa was accessible to neanderthals and that it played a vital role in early human evolution of self perception and agricultural civilization.

    7. Gilbert says:

      It’s about time !
      For the last 100 years they have spoken of false fallacy of this herb , for the last 100 years they have been brainwashing America or at least attempted to,this is has got to be the longest war and the must abused false fairy tale told in America ..
      They have made claim’s that have no factual conclusive backing and they still say they need more time to study this herb yet it’s been on our door step for hundreds of years as they keep looking for a smoking gun to disprove the truth of safe use of this herb, there is no smoking gun and never will be , if there was one I’m sure we would have known about by the this age in the 21st century , everyone knows this , the government is in self denial of this as well as believing that 90 percent of America has no clue to what they are seeing with there own eyes , this in its self is a hurtful punch in the gut to the American people and a insult to our intelligence..
      When is enough is enough ? Give the people of America some credit for there intelligence and being human ..
      When prohibition ends it will free up energy and resources,it will relieve the anxiety as well the overall emotional stress brought to the American people , it will bring peace in America it will bring peace to American homes and to finally end this wasteful prohibition era and move forward to a new movement ..

    8. Denny Strausser Jr says:

      If PA politicians want to focus on something, I believe they should focus on legalizing here in PA. Tom Wolf did say he welcomes discussion on the topic. He didn’t say he would pass it for sure, but that would be a good step. Instead of taking it federal, lets focus on local, and if things succeed there, than take things federal.

      Lets at the very least get the decriminalization bill on his desk, so we stop jailing good citizens. It needs to be legal though, as many people would rather choose Cannabis over alcohol, and alcohol is more dangerous.

      And I for that matter, prefer smoking some weed over getting drunk. Alcohol may be fun, but it kills your body, the more you drink, the worse it is for you. POT never killed anyone. Makes you question, why it is still illegal.

      Denny signing off.

    9. Harry Dusenberg says:

      IF THE POLITICIANS IN PA WONT LISTEN TO OVER ALMOST 70% OF THE PEOPLE WHO GOT THEM ELECTED THEN THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WRONG . THEY REFUSE TO GET ON THE TRAIN TO THE FUTURE THEN WE MUST KICK THEM OFF THE TRAIN . THERE IS NO EARTHLY REASON TO LEGALIZE WEED FOR ADULTS AND FOR SICK KIDS AND SUICIDE VETS THEIR BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS ALONG WITH THE OLD SICK AND YOUNG WHO MAY BE SUFFERING AT YOUR HANDS …. SO PLEASE PUT YOU OWN GREED AND AND QUEST FOR POWER AND DO SOME THING GOOD FOR US THE CITIZENS OF PA … JUST ONCE PLEASE …… OR WE WILL MAKE SURE YOU LOSE YOU JOB……

    10. Karen Gould says:

      I live in PA, yes the doctors are being hammered by the Government about prescribing pain medication to those living in chronic pain 24/7. This is wrong, I do realize unfortunately there are those that abuse these medications but there are more that “Do not” & need them for pain relief to live somewhat of a normal life. I can’t understand why if a patient decides to try medical marijuana that they are treated either like a criminal or a 12 yr old..Your PCP drug tests you & you test + for mj they deny you your pain meds treat you like a child or a criminal. Alcohol is legal, it destroys every organ in the human body. By denying the patients pain meds & finding marijuana in your system even if you just tried a small amount due to the fact it is a tattletale drug you are left to (1) suffer in pain, (2) start to drink alcohol, which a lot of us do not even like the effect/taste of or (3) find drugs out on the street (goodness only knows what…. think cost here yeah just what the Government & all of us want off the streets the big H… Why ?? for the reasons listed above, DEA coming down on our doctors, trying something that is a natural way to relieve pain but stays in your system way too long. Alcohol which is far way worse but is accepted in society. We need to get Marijuana decriminalized once & for all,off the scheduled 1 category it is “Not heiron”! this is due to miseducation.Also the money it would bring in, there are many forms & uses for this God given plant. For those that are against it please read up do your research. If you have someone who lives everyday in chronic pain please don’t judge them understand what they live with 24/7.. God bless all who read this & I hope I helped some if even 1 understand all the aspects…..

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