Democrats to Endorse Medical Marijuana
During the Democratic National Committee’s 2016 National Platform, a vote was taken on whether or not the Democrats will be endorsing an amendment to legalize marijuana federally. Last week members of the Democratic National Committee panel approved a plank calling for the marijuana laws to be reformed. The Democrats claimed they would be supporting policies that would allow more marijuana research to be conducted, as well as changing laws so that legal marijuana businesses can operate without the fear of being shut down or prosecuted.
Clinton Campaign proposal
The Clinton campaign proposed marijuana reform plan was to move it from schedule I to schedule II. However, many proponents of marijuana reform believe it should be ranked schedule 3, 4 or 5 because it doesn’t belong in schedule II next to more harmful drugs like oxycodone, opium, and codeine. Clinton said “I don’t think we should decriminalize it” when asked about her position on marijuana reform in 2007. In 2016 Clinton still, has not made up her mind on legalization and the most she’s willing to back is moving the drug to Schedule II.
Sanders Campaign proposal
The Sanders campaigns position on marijuana has gone further than any other, asking for the complete declassification of marijuana. In an email to his supporters, Sanders highlights the importance of pressuring the party to take pro-reform stands on issues like marijuana, because in the past they have not.
During the 187-member platform committee’s meeting in Orlando this weekend, the details on the level of reform that the Democrats will be endorsing were decided. The decision to support the amendment that would change the federal status of marijuana to legal won 81 to 80.
The one vote win caused a the non-voting audience behind the committee to applaud. The stands filled with Sanders supporters celebrating but for the next 10 minutes former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, co-chair of the platform committee, said that one member of the committee lacked a “clicker” that was required to cast an electronic vote.
Arguing continued and one Clinton delegate was heard audibly complaining that the Sanders delegate “wanted 100 percent of everything.” A Clinton delegate, Mark Pryor, former senator of Arkansas, approached the microphone to express that the opponents of the amendment were unhappy with a lack of compromise but not enough to object as the former senator concluded his statement by saying “We withdraw the objection.”
The Marijuana Amendment
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.
What this means for Legalization
The federal government will no longer prohibit marijuana use and distribution if this amendment passes. On the other hand, a State can still decide to ban marijuana within its borders which may mean trouble for future patients traveling from legal to non-legal states with their medicine. Still, with the Democrats party backing legalization, we may see legalization coming sooner than later.