Democratic Party Includes Marijuana Reform As Part Of Its 2016 National Platform

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate June 28, 2016

    Representatives within the Democratic National Committee have approved provisions specific to marijuana law reform as part of the party’s 2016 platform.

    A 15-person decision-making panel unanimously voted to adopt the following language:

    “We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research to be done on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty. And we recognize our current marijuana laws have had an unacceptable disparate impact, with arrest rates for marijuana possession among African-Americans far outstripping arrest rates among whites despite similar usage rates.”

    thumbs_upSeparate, more specific language was proposed by Bernie Sanders-appointed members of the panel however it did not garner enough support.

    Though the language falls well short of calling for an end to federal cannabis prohibition, it nonetheless marks a stark contrast between the two major political parties.

    Last week, Republican leaders in Congress quashed a number of proposed marijuana law reforms. Specifically, provisions previously voted on by Congress to expand medical cannabis access to eligible military veterans were removed by leadership during the conference committee process and earlier there was a decision to deny members the opportunity to vote on a Democrat-sponsored amendment that sought to permit banks and other financial institutions to engage in relationships with state-compliant marijuana businesses.

    With many Congressional Republicans actively discouraging marijuana related reforms at the federal level, it’s motivating to see Democrats pro-actively finding ways to include the need for cannabis policy reform in the party’s national conversation.

    46 responses to “Democratic Party Includes Marijuana Reform As Part Of Its 2016 National Platform”

    1. Mark Mitcham says:

      Yup. Agreed; That’s motivating. So important to acknowledge the racial disparities. Really glad that’s in there. Now do something about it! It’s about goddamn time the Democratic Party started getting on board!!

      Gives me a reason other than Hillary to vote Democratic. Think those platform planks would be in there if Bernie hadn’t clearly demonstrated the progressive hearts and minds of the party? Impossibe to say, but I suspect not.

      • Matthew says:

        I think Bernie does deserve some credit for this progress, here. Yet, what if the DEA does reschedule, on its own? I mean, what’s the point of Hillary, then? The last thing we need is all of her bad baggage, for no substantiating reason. One of the best things about Trump, is: Hillary retires in prison.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          The Democratic platform planks themselves are more progressive and valuable than Hillary’s bullshit “Schedule II” stance. That’s the real reason to vote Democratic.

          Schedule II is the prohibionists fallback position, as schedule I becomes increasingly untenable. This will be confirmed if the DEA reschedules to II, as rumored. And Hillary the prohibitionist and the DEA will be on the same page.

          But true legalizers want it DEscheduled, not REscheduled.

        • Ted says:

          That’s assuming that Hillary is even indicted under Trump once he’s in, and he doesn’t find a convenient reason that he simply can’t do anything about sending her to jail, and she just gets off scot-free.

        • Deborah Schell says:

          Amen… I don’t know Trumps stand on marijuana though, does anyone else?? Please let me know!! I’d vote Democratic, if Bernie was still in it! But Hillary, no way… I sure wish she would have not run. Bernie would have been great!!

    2. Julian says:

      This Election season is lookin like Blue skies and green valleys for Democrats. Here in Texas, a recent poll showed only %25 of Republicans approve of the direction there party is headed, while %75 of Democrats are satisfied. It is inspiring bipartisan cooperation however that the Republican platform in Texas included industrial hemp and improving the Compassionate Use Act, but with both state and federal Democratic platforms in synch to decriminalize the Blue team is leaving the Red in the dust, (even if descheduling is not yet on the menu, rescheduling is on the way… Better push for schedule IV and see if we get III).
      And if you look at the NORML scorecard (just type scorecard in the NORML search engine above) the Republicans have some real catching up to do before November or the Senate wont be all theyre gonna lose…

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      I changed my voter affiliation to Republican from Unaffiliated to vote against Andy Harris and Donald Trump in the primaries.

      Looks like I’ll register Democrat now.

      • Matthew says:

        ‘Thumbs-Up’! Yet, I’m anxious to see Hillary go to jail.

        • Galileo Galilei says:

          Hillary has been the Democratic nominee apparent since long before the 8 years of the Obama administration. Hence, she’s been systemically demonized by the Republicans. This is the way politics is played these days, but after a time I stopped believing any of the scandals.

          • Dave Evans says:

            Just listening to Hillary Clinton talking in circles has been enough for me to take a very personal dislike to her. She, like Trump, never stops lying, never stops getting the details wrong. She doesn’t focus long enough on anything to form a decent policy about it. Marijuana or the Middle East, a Hillary Clinton presidency is going to be like George W. Bush all over again… Yes, she has made some good decisions over the years, but only after trying all the bad ones first. The reason Republicans lie so much now-a-days is because they got their asses whopped by Bill Clinton lying when they were telling the truth, so they gave up on it and they decided emulating Bill is a better strategy. Remember, both parties moved to the right and doubled down on marijuana users? Bill taught them Americans want lies. And that is what we get from them.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        I admire your determination to make a positive difference by letting your labels work for you, and not the other way around!

        (I’m scared to try it again — last time I tried that, I screwed up bad. Here’s my 4:20 confession: Regarding Bush V Gore, when George W Bush first ran against McCain in the Repubican primary, he had not yet committed his criminal invasion of Iraq; and, W was talking fairly reasonably, for the times, about marijuana; while his Republican primary opponent, McCain, was spouting the usual hysterical Drug War battle cries. So I switched parties, just for the primaries, in order to vote AGAINST McCain!!!!! Big Mistake!!!!! Because in order to do that, I had to vote for (oh it hurts to admit it) Bush. #@#% Me!! That’s one vote I regret.)

    4. Tom says:

      I cant believe the dems regarded this as a racist issue, stating more blacks get arrested for it, give me a break!! Legalize it and you wont have that problem. And the economy will greatly benefit from it. But that might make more black people start smoking it huh?

      • Matthew says:

        This is the most backasswards/awkward argument that our reformers waste precious time, with: if I was a Prohibitionist, I’d raid & arrest a dozen white pot users every time someone says it. “By golly, you’re right: YOU’RE UNDER ARREST!”

        How dare we neglect to arrest more proportionately?

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          The disproportionate arrests rates between whites and blacks make it clear that the War on Drugs is inherently racist. If the War on Drugs were proportionately applied to white soccer moms in gated communities as readily as it is applied to young black men in urban neighborhoods, you can bet that some influential powers would pull some strings, put a rapid stop to that shit! White marijuana consumers got it bad; Black marijuana consumers got it worse. If you don’t believe that, check again.

    5. Michael says:

      Prohibition has never worked.

      • Dave Evans says:

        It always works for the Prohibitionists. This is why they need to be sued and forced to return all their illicitly earned money. They earned it by enforcing lies and hear-sey; which isn’t legal in this country. They have been breaking the law the whole time.

    6. mytruxblaze says:

      Remember when Bernie Sanders put forth a bill to end federal cannabis prohibition? It has zero co sponsors.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Yeah! Thank for pointing that out; that’s just the problem: it’s the difference between “talking” and “walking”!! Pretty words are nice, and as I said in earlier comment, I’m motivated to vote Democratic because of it. But pretty words don’t get the job done: where’s the rest of the Democrats stepping up? Time to walk their talk! And co-sponsoring Bernie’s Bill would be the place to start, and I mean do it right now!

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          To answer my own question, I think the reason the rest of the Democrats are not stepping up to sign Bernie’s bill to DEschedule cannabis, is because they’re mostly a bunch of Neo-Liberals who are more committed to corporatism than legalization. They are prohibitionists, whether schedule I or schedule II, because Corporate America insists on it.

          Now, please: go prove this cynic wrong! If the Democrats start showing up en mass, I’ll be thrilled to be wrong.

          • David Evans says:

            Nope, you’re exactly correct, the But-the-States-need-their-rights-people turned the corner back to being prohibitionists as the Democrats come out in support of State’s Rights. This is why this whole silly thing about marijuana legalization having something to due with “State’s Rights” is just another Red Herring! Our personal rights are not dependent on “States having their Rights”. This is a scam call incrementalism. Each party takes turns at being “liberal” or “conservative” on an issue so that each can claim the other side is blocking reform, please send us money and your votes. They get them and then switch sides again. It is a dance and the oligarchy is playing their song again, and again, and again, and again, ect.

    7. mytruxblaze says:

      Remember when Bernie Sanders put forth a bill to end federal cannabis prohibition? It has zero co sponsors.

    8. Miles says:

      This is the kind of thing I’ve been waiting for. It seems that the Democratic party is moving the right direction – Finally!!!

      I salute those leaders that helped to make this happen; especially Bernie Sanders!

    9. Hillary and the DNC are doing anything and everything to get you to vote for her. They know that Bernie’s majority of followers age range is in the popular 18-34 year olds.

      I’m telling you now… Do NOT vote for Hillary!

      Over 200 Super Delegates were already pledged to Hillary before we even had our first debate! How is that “Democratic”?

      Take your vote and give it to Gary Johnson. Let’s really send a message to the DNC that we will not tolerate voter manipulation in our party!

      • Duck says:

        Maybe you don’t mind Trump being president, but here are four words that should keep us all up at night: “Attorney General Chris Christie.” I hope you don’t live in a swing state, Bernie!

        • Don M says:

          What if Trump becomes our next president with Chris Christie as his VP. Imagine that Trump dies and Christie becomes president. Would anyone out there want to live in the kind of America he would try to change us to? I suspect the Neo-Nazis would be thrilled.

          Making Christie the new AG could be just as bad or worse!

          I really wish we could come up with a way for Gary Johnson to win the presidency without risking a Trump win.

      • Miles says:

        Gary Johnson is my top choice at this time and has been for quite a while. However, I have strong fear that voting for Gary instead of Hillary could have the terrible consequence of helping Trump and the rest of the countries rich elite.

        • Galileo Galilei says:

          Normally, I’d vote for Johnson, too, but I don’t think there’s anything more important in these turbulent than keeping Trump out of the White House. We cannot cede the office of Commander in Chief to a man permanently mired in his terrible twos.

      • Galileo Galilei says:

        I would normally vote for Gary Johnson, but this election I don’t think there is anything more important than keeping Trump OUT of the White House.

    10. Julian says:

      Just donated another $15 to Sanders.
      Why? Because his last email explains that it costs at least $4,000 to send our progressive delegates to the convention in Philadelphia so we can vote on more Progressive issues like descheduling marijuana; problem is our progressive delegates dont make that kind of money. They aren’t all “established” lobbyists or beurocrats, they have jobs to keep and families to use a week’s vacation time on. This is why Bernie said he’d vote for Hillary but is still going to the convention; so that we participate in the Democratic process and get our delegate votes counted and introduce good drug policies.
      I cant think of any single representative of our government that inspired me to understand the American political process …more than consuming marijuana and understanding its prohibited history… than Bernie Sanders.