Cannabis at Democratic National Convention
The Big Story
Cannabis has had a big presence so far at the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia. From protests to rallies to pot celebrations and even a little actual puffing, pot smoking voters are making their voices heard.
The convention comes on the heels of the Democratic National Committee’s National Platform meeting, which took place earlier this month in Orlando. This was the meeting where Democratic leaders and delegates defined the party’s official platform.
Cannabis was a key topic of conversation. Clinton’s campaign suggested a plan that would reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II. Critics of that plan said it wouldn’t do enough, since Schedule II still includes a lot of drugs that many people see as way more dangerous than cannabis.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign called for the complete declassification of marijuana. In the end, the Democratic Party narrowly approved a platform that calls for marijuana to be downgraded from Schedule I. The party’s platform also endorses the pursuit of a “reasoned pathway to future legalization.” The party’s decision helped set the stage for this week’s convention.
Cannabis Activism At The DNC
The biggest pro-cannabis voices at the DNC are coming from cannabis activists. There was a cannabis welcome party at the beginning of the convention. And according to some sources, a handful of delegates and even a congressman attended the party.
Then, protestors showed up in Philly with a giant, 51-foot long inflatable joint. The float had the words “Reschedule Cannabis Now!” painted on it. The giant joint will look familiar to anyone who remembers the protests that took place earlier this year in Washington D.C.
And to top it all off, there’s apparently been a bunch of people who haven’t been shy about taking advantage of Philadelphia’s relatively lax cannabis laws. The city decriminalized marijuana back in 2014. The most Philly cops can do now is give people a $25 summons for carrying weed or a $100 fine for smoking in public.
There’s apparently been a decent number of people pushing the envelope by showing up and smoking out in the streets.
“I’ve seen plenty of open marijuana smoking in sight of law enforcement,” said Chris Goldstein, from the Philadelphia chapter of NORML. So far, police officers have not issued any summonses at or around the convention center.