Democratic Party Calls For “Pathway for Future Legalization”

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 thoughts

  1. 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. 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?

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

      1. 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.

    2. 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.)

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

    3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…………………….

    1. 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…

      1. 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. 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. 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.

  11. I think this is significant news. One major party is endorsing legalization! To those naysayers, I only say, WTF?

    Are you poo-pooing this news because of sour grapes? Or do you really believe this will have no significance in our struggle for legalization?

    It reminds me of the news several years ago of Nancy Pelosi’s supporting certain states’ attempts at legalization. The naysayers on these boards back then raked her over the coals, called her a hypocrite, a bitch, and everything else. Seems they always prefer the news to be bad, so they can say, “I told you so.”

    I’ll add that I also remember on these boards, certain posters insisting that legalization would never happen, the polls in Colorado and Washington notwithstanding. As I recall, one poster said, “The Man would never let it happen.” They continued to insist that legalization would never happen, all the way up to the day the voters pushed across legalization in those states. Then they went curiously silent.

    I’m damned glad the Dems did the right thing here. I know the Repubs won’t reach this level of reason for another half century.

      1. Ed,

        Trump scares the hell out of me. I don’t especially like Hillary, but I’m not worried about her hand being on the nuke button the way I worry about his.

        I just read an article about Tony Schwartz, Trump’s ghost writer who is the one who actually wrote “The Art of the Deal.” (A book Trump readily takes credit for writing, tho he himself never ever reads books!!!) It reveals a disturbing picture of Trump, illustrates in detail his penchant for lying, as well as his very short attention span. Most subjects bore him, it seems, except of course his own self-promotion. (The GOP was smart not to let him take control of their purse strings.)

  12. The last time Crooked Hillary Felony Clinton was asked about legalization, she said there was to much money in it to legalize it, then she did one of those evil laughs and had that nasty devil look on her face…. liar, liar, which her hair would catch fire.

  13. I’ve been saying recently, that if only Hillary would come around on progressive social issues — specifically cannabis reform — then most Bernie supporters would likely come around to Hillary.

    So far, that ain’t happening with Hillary in any convincing way.

    But this call for Legalization is coming from the Democratic Party itself; I think that makes it evem more significant than any unconvincing words of placation Hillary might have come up with during this or that next random campaign event.

    This is the doing of the Bernie Revolution! And, as the close vote at the DNC indicates, the Establishment Democrats aren’t coming along gladly or willingly — more like dragging their heels, and clinging to every doorway!

    But for Bernie supporters like me, I say it’s time to take the crumbs and crusts the Democrats are finally tossing our way. It’s a deal we can’t refuse!

    Sure, it would have been better if “Pathway for Future Legalization” had simply read “Legalization.” Still, it’s a significant step forward.

    Now all we have to do is hold the Democrats to their Election Year Promises!

    This is what makes Bernie an amazing success: he’s managed to capture the heart of the Democratic Party, even while ceding the nomination!

  14. @ St. Nick,

    I read your post, brother, and can honestly say I feel for you. I’ve been there. I’m really hoping a few more states can legalize this year.

    I live in NM, so am especially hoping that Arizona and Nevada go legal (and of course Calif and the two eastern states); with NM surrounded by legal states, legal Colorado just north of us, the conservatives who keep prohibition going in NM may have to change their stances.

    Hang in there, St. Nick. And, my opinion, you should stay far away from that K2 crap. I saw a news video about it–seems like really bad stuff.

  15. @ Rod,

    So, let’s see if I got this right. The Democratic party is full of shit because they endorsed legalization. But the Republican party, apparently–I’m going by your absence of comment about them–is great because they didn’t? Is that what you’re saying? You have no comment about the prohibitionist GOP? Please provide a window into your logic.

  16. It’s all about big money. That is why the final political choices are at it’s worse. The best candidates are all filtered out in both parties during the primaries because they are too Constitutionally minded and do not have the big money support.

  17. I think Trump will allow states to decide. He said he would and he has not told a lie yet that I know of. Hillary on the other hand…she has lied under oath, and the DNC party platform voted 81-80 in favor? We don’t need another liar in the White House. Vote Trump 2016

    1. @ propot,

      Please tell me your post is a joke. “Trump . . . has not told a lie yet.” Really?

      I can think of two of his lies right off the top of my head:

      “Thousands of Muslims were celebrating in the streets in New Jersey on 9/11.” A lie–with absolutely no documentation. It’s a silly comment on its face. The MSM would’ve been all over that with video and three weeks of outraged commentary.

      “I never lose lawsuits.” A hilarious lie. Trump must think we’re all too stupid to remember the lawsuit he lost against that book author who said he wasn’t a billionaire, but instead a millionaire.

      In actuality, Trump settles out of court so often he probably has an accountant just for that. That’s when he’s not squashing the little guys he’s in litigation against with his army of financial lawyers. Trump has a problem paying his bills, prefers to crush his (usually small) opponents with expensive trials.

      Bonus lie: he can’t release his taxes because he’s being audited. Lol. Yeah, I believe that one.

      I’m sure if I did a modicum of research on Trump’s lies, I could easily give you 50 more examples. He was for abortion before he was against it before he was for it. Propot, please put down the glass of Koolaid.

  18. Please everyone, be careful with your interpretation of this political move. Moving the classification down one level is not much of a benefit. This action presents itself more as a bandwagon to those who don’t continue to understand that politics claiming that they have your bests interests have created lots of wiggle room on the good and bad consequences of their public agenda with small actions like this. Please realize that if they really wanted to make a change they would attempt to move it to Schedule IV or lower, if they chose not to completely attempt to remove it. When most people use marijuana as a choice of self medication, from a scheduling or classification reasoning, they are using it for pain relief or anxiety relief. Schedule IV is where Valium and Xanax currently are categorized that fit the same motives. Schedule II is still equal to cocaine and other very serious(and deadly) substances. This strongly smells of a quick rally cry to have everyone think they are on your side, or at least the demographics that they currently need targeted. I purely wish that we could see the publicity stunts for what they are, stunts, and call them out on it.

    Stronger Together, we can make America great again, with the right kind of green tea party. <– Research this combination sentence before you judge my political choices and make comments. But then do comment about it afterwards when you have.

    – An Individual Thinking American

    1. While the political system needs more people like you to become involved, you can help others to understand how to start down the pathway that the DNC has called for. Wear a T-shirt with this pathway formula printed on it:

      99% * 0.3% * 710 => 420

      RE: My comments to Keith’s July 8th blog, “When Larger Issues Take Center Stage”.

  19. the two party system is a laughingstock of this country…we need a 430 party system…

  20. Votes and platforms count. For those that say that platforms don’t count they should go stand on one and have it pulled out from under them, see if it matters now.

    The fact is Republicans did this to themselves; this vote matters most to the American people in the way it represents their party’s values, and hence which Congressman we should support. Check the NORML scorecard; its turning into blue-green turqouise.

    As for Clinton, I continue to support this compulsive liar less we allow our fear and anger to impede our clinical judgement and let the pathological liar Drumph win. Sorry Gary Johnson; Im not throwing my vote away to let some orange chimera become our Commander in Chief, especially since Gary has no platform on climate change. Yes, platforms do count.

  21. It would seem that prohibitionists would rather believe lies and myths, then to allow a little truth. It isn’t very wise or smart to ignore something which might be the honest to god truth.

    At least. There is a majority of people now who do know and support the truth, and they know how much (cannabis) can actually help a person.

    We are not living in the days of, (Reefer Madness.) where’s people thought cannabis had a negative effect on everyone taking it.

    personalities don’t change, and it does not cause sexual outbursts.

    I am glad to read however, that the democratic party is saying enough, and that it is time for reform. I feel eventually that it will be brought up in the Supreme Court, and will be ruled Unconstitutional, the laws against Cannabis that is. And they will end up legalizing at a federal level, with many prohibitionists bitching that it should be overturned.

    I am basically tired of these laws, as they are not in the right place. I am not a criminal just cause I like to consume Pot.

    I am not harming anyone, when I am high.
    I actually wish not to bother with anyone, after I smoke. So how am I harming any1?

    Laws Need To Change.

  22. Republican Party policy for its Congress Criiers is “It is a States Rights Issue”. Of course that is not in the platform. Too many R voters are rabid Prohibitionists.

    I still thought the Democrat Platform on the issue was weak.


    Did you see Newt Gingrich on opiates in Time Magazine? He said it was a medical problem and had a genetic component. Something I have been saying since 2002.

  23. Begging politicians for freedom means you’re not doing it right.

    Paying a tax to ingest a naturally occurring substance into your own body, means somebody else thinks they own you.

  24. re; the Democratic National Committee voted…

    so, were any of these people congressmen ???

    if so, will any of them sign on as co-sponsors of bernie sanders’s bill to DE-SCHEDULE marijuana ???

    1. The DEA is, and always has been, a dangerous rogue agency. They do what they want and don’t seem to care much who gets hurt in the process.

      By the way, Mike Pence, Trump’s VP choice, is a big fan of the DEA and voted to have the DEA raid many state legal medical marijuana businesses. That speaks volumes about them and it’s not good! As far as Pence is concerned, anyone who uses marijuana for any reason is a criminal and should be punished.

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