Democratic Party Calls For “Pathway for Future Legalization”

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate July 14, 2016

    thumbs_upOver the weekend the Democratic National Committee voted to endorse a “reasoned pathway to future legalization” of marijuana and called on the federal government to downgrade marijuana from it’s current Schedule 1 of the United States Controlled Substances Act.

    In an 81-80 vote, the following language was added as part of the Democratic party’s official 2016 platform:

    “Because of conflicting laws concerning marijuana, both on the federal and state levels, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.”

    Previously, a 15-person panel of the Democratic National Committee voted to include the following language which will also be included in the party platform:

    “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 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.”

    While the language that was originally approved by the panel sufficiently addressed marijuana law reform as a party priority, the additional amendment which nods towards future legalization, bodes well with advocates all around. This is surely a large step in the right direction by one of our country’s main political parties.

    As the Democrats worked to finalize what faction of marijuana law reform they would like to endorse, the Republicans had a different debate on the subject.

    On Monday, the Republican party voted not to endorse medical marijuana in their 2016 platform. And throughout the debate some of oldest marijuana myths were spouted as fact. Delegates contested that marijuana is linked to mental health issues, that mass murderers are all smoking pot, and that the heroin epidemic is a result of teenagers smoking weed. While there were some pro-medical marijuana delegates present and who attempted to push back at the theories, it was not enough to result in a medical marijuana endorsement by the party.

    The Republican party missed their opportunity to endorse any language related to marijuana law reform which could have ranged from medical marijuana to simply endorsing the conservative principle of limited government, allowing states to move forward with their reforms free from federal interference.

    It’s a wonder how one political party has come so far in acknowledging scientific fact and public opinion, which puts voter approval for medical marijuana at 78 percent and voter approval for adult marijuana use at 61 percent, while another political party seems so far from that same point.

    40 responses to “Democratic Party Calls For “Pathway for Future Legalization””

    1. Don M says:

      I haven’t yet decided who to vote fot POTUS yet in the next election. It will, somewhat reluctantly be Mrs. Clinton unless she chooses Tim Caine to be her VP. Mr. Caine was given. F grade for his actions regarding cannabis by NORML He would have to do a 180, loud and clear, to get my support.

      I would never vote for Trump or the Republicans in general since they are the party of prohibition, warmongers, wallstreet, and racism.

      That leaves Gary Johnson whom I really like! However, I also understand that America is not likely to elect anyone that is not a republican or a democrat. It’s really stupid but that seems to be the reality of our world at this time.

      I pray that Hillary Clinton chooses a VP that we can all feel good about supporting. If not, I fear that we may have a Trump in that office and that would be a disaster in my opinion.

    2. Just An Observer says:

      How does one win an 80-81 vote?

      As for platforms, they’re worthless. Regarding rescheduling, Obama could have done this years ago. He didn’t. Matter of fact he showed his hyena side and laughed off the whole legal MJ deal during his first term.

      Besides, who wants to vote for Crooked Hillary, a proven liar and complete security risk as well as being bought and paid for by Wall Street?

      Trump already said he’s in favor of leaving MJ to the states. As I previously wrote, who cares about platforms?

      • St. Nick n Dime says:

        Wow that is just some utter bullshit and nonsense! Are you lying misinformed from brainwash of Fox News or what?? I dunno.

        • Just An Observer says:

          Apparently MJ killed your memory banks…LOL! All I said is TRUE. Obama laughed off MJ early on. Clinton got exposed by the FBI director even if she was not indicted. Trump was asked about MJ during the primary season and that is what he said.

          Them’s the facts, as inconvenient as they are.

      • Tsubasa says:

        Trump is a wildcard, a joker. I also heard today he managed to fish the other joker out of the deck to be his running mate.

        At every turn he’s said what he’s needed to say to win. Please give that some thought. Trump knows he needs the support of Lyin’ Ted’s fans in November, assuming that conspiracy theory that he’s only running to throw the race for Clinton doesn’t have anything to it.

        Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are the kind of fiscal conservatives and social liberals we need.

        However, as others have said, even this year it’s a long shot that a Libertarian vote would make any kind of difference.

        Personally, this news is making me reconsider my rule to vote my principles instead of strategically. I’ve been saying that Clinton is a lizard person, and I’m openly bigoted against lizard people. (Not seriously, obviously there’s no such thing as space lizards from Alpha Draconis… well, I shouldn’t be hasty, not like I’ve ever been to that part of the galaxy!) I’m seriously contemplating rethinking my anthroherpetophobia.

        I guarantee you we’ll hear anti-cannabis propaganda coming out of the R-team joker’s mouth before November.

        It’s too bad there’s not a mulligan option where 3rd parties get to be the main parties for the rest of the election. It would be very satisfying to see debates between Johnson and Dr. Stein on prime time. It would be liberating to go to the polls in November and know that no matter who I vote for—Libertarian or Green—cannabis prohibition would come tumbling down across the country over the next 4 years.

        My mind boggles that a world where the Right-Wing Authoritarian (see Altemeyer’s /The Authoritarians/) sound byte “cannabis is bad because it’s against the law” no longer applies is within reach.

        (I swear, fear isn’t the mind killer. Smug sound bytes are.)

        • Duck says:

          “I am Clin-Ton. All will kneel and obey my brutal commands. End communication.” [/simpsons]

      • Bud says:

        Dont be a Sheep! Whats Trumps “new” slogan? ” IM THE LAW AND ORDER CANDIDATE”! No I dont think with Christy in the background, I would want Trump In the office! 100+ other reasons as well, but this is one. At least with the dems, there heading in the right direction!

    3. Cat Cassie says:

      Oh my gosh Trump can’t win he just can’t!! At first I thought he was willing to bend a little where marijuana was concerned because of the will of the people but now he is calling himself the “Law and Order Candidate” and he has Chris Christie hanging around for some reason. Scary! If he is talking about preventing real crime that actually hurts people that would be different but I think it’s the same old crap regarding freedom to choose coming from the oppressive right.

    4. Rod is on the gas says:

      Pathway For Future Legalization? No it’s not!

      It’s a repeat of political dialogue that does nothing beneficial. We’ve heard this kind of ignorant posturing before. It’s lip-service and no substance, the normal political peace-offering.

      This platform encourages the democrats to keep the status-quo in place with no respect towards the people who suffer now. It shows the stance where current dems are being encouraged to ignore the possible improvements in cannabis legalization. Don’t rock the boat.

      The democrats have decided to continue to alienate us cannabis people.

    5. fireweed says:

      as with “creationism,” “intelligent design,” denial of human causes of climate change, so with issues surrounding cannabis use the Republican Party reflects an idealistic, zero-insight, uninformed and close-minded mindset.

    6. Galileo Galilei says:

      Normally, I’d vote for Gary Johnson this election.

      However, we need to beat Trump, and we need to beat the Republicans this election.

    7. mexweed says:

      Please keep in mind that near 2/3 of the openly accredited* political campaign money from the Hot Burning Overdose Monoxide Paperpuffin’ $igarette “industry” goes to Republicans. Need to know any other reason why they oppose cannabis liberation? Hold Nose, Vote Dems!

      * Not to mention $igarets United, hmmm.

    8. St. Nick n Dime says:

      I just wish I could smoke right now. Might be 2 weeks until I have money for k2. Lost my weed connects. 2 weed dealers within 100 feet of my house and they won’t sell to me cause 1 was told bullshit about me other ones won’t sell cause me and my brother fight and had cops here a bunch. A third house about 350 feet away is same about cops but is coming around and were working on em. I got a friend comin by a couple times a week to smoke me and my mom up with k2 while my bros in jail. He’s cool he gives us $20 and buys dominos and a couple groceries and shit like a pack of LM Bold menthol 100s. I have nothing now though and like I said won’t have the $33 for 2 grams k2 without paper trail until August. Its the 14th of July. Just wish I had bugs so the high would last way longer and it wouldn’t be ruined with 1 bad thought, the high would be more hallucinogenic and I’d have a better deal and it would taste better. AND not have health side effects and dangers. The only good thing about it is it hits you faster and is more intense. Well if nugs were legal in all 50 I could get it prescribed. Hmm… Back to waiting…………………….

      • Anonymous says:

        Please don’t use K2/Spice! It’s not worth the risks of not knowing what you’re putting in your body. There’s been multiple reports of people dying from using Spice/K2.



        It may MIMIC the effects of cannabis, but it’s NOT cannabis and it’s not safe! Please check these links and see. Wishing you well.

      • Justice League says:

        Preach on brother prohibition!

      • Ben says:

        I would recommend that you step away from the K2, build your resistance back up, and wait, patiently, as I am… When you do get some regular dank, it will he that much better, take that much less, and you won’t have any of the stupid ish associated with K2…

        Think about it…

        • St. Nick n Dime says:

          Well thanks but I have mental problems and no weed ever anymore. Everyone hates me and doesn’t want to help me out. I can’t have fun with beer and cigarettes. I have both right now and feel like I have nothing good. But maybe I won’t enjoy my life at all while I watch people go on deals around my house all the time and wish I was dead and in heaven. Maybe I won’t smoke k2 spice though. I’ve got nothing to say. My life was awesome 1999-2012 and I took it for granted. After 06-01-2013 it got bad and hasn’t really recovered. What can I say. No spice no fun no health risks. Well I will think about it. Legalizing weed would take care of the k2 problem. Peace out brothers and sisters.

    9. sk says:

      Reminds me of the Dwight’s title of “Assistant to the regional Manager” from The Office.

      Why can’t they just support legalization already?

    10. Randy Thomas says:

      The pathway to legalization starts with referendums, in those states where medical marijuana is legal, requiring their members of the US Congress to introduce and support legislation, which declassifies marijuana, and funds research into it’s medical uses.

      It is legal in half the states, which covers the vote in the Senate. I haven’t had a chance to count heads in the house yet, but think based on which states have legalized medical use, there would be a majority.