28 July 2016

Detroit Free Press reported the following yesterday

Dems become 1st major party to back a path to legalizing marijuana

WASHINGTON – Democrats meeting in Philadelphia have made history, voting to approve a national platform that endorses a “pathway” for the legalization of marijuana.

When former candidate Bernie Sanders boasted Monday night that he had helped create “the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party,” he made no mention of the pot plank, which calls for “a reasoned pathway for future legalization.” But it came as a clear victory for him and his supporters.

As a first step toward legalization, the platform, approved Monday, calls for removing marijuana from the federal government’s list of Schedule 1 drugs, those considered the most dangerous. That list includes LSD and heroin, drugs considered to have a high potential for abuse and no medical purpose.

Legalization backers applauded the vote and said it reflected polls that found a majority of Americans want to legalize the drug.

“The fact that one of the country’s two major parties has officially endorsed a pathway to legalization is the clearest sign we’ve seen yet that marijuana reform is a mainstream issue at the forefront of American politics,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a pro-legalization group.

“A clear and growing majority of voters want to end prohibition.”

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, does not back across-the-board legalization at the federal level. The platform includes her often-used language that marijuana legalization should be left to the states, allowing them to be “laboratories of democracy.”

That’s good news for Washington state, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska, which that have already approved recreational marijuana, along with the District of Columbia.

The platform also endorses medical marijuana, saying the 26 states that allow its use should be able to do so without interference from the federal government.

The legal cannabis industry could be poised for a major expansion this year.

Voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada will decide ballot initiatives in November that would allow adults to use marijuana, and medical marijuana measures have qualified for the ballot in Arkansas and Florida.

“The industry has arrived at a national moment,” said Michael Bronstein, cofounder of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp.

On Thursday, the convention’s closing day, a band of activists plans to stage a Cannabis Pride Parade and tote a 51-foot-long, inflatable joint through the city. A post-convention unity bash sponsored by three Democratic super PACs will feature rapper and music mogul Snoop Dogg, who has a weed-centric lifestyle website called Merry Jane and launched a cannabis line called Leafs by Snoop last year.

“Because of conflicting federal and state laws concerning marijuana, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from the list of ‘Schedule 1’ federal controlled substances and to appropriately regulate it, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization. We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize it or provide access to medical 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 in terms of arrest rates for African-Americans that far outstrip arrest rates for whites, despite similar usage rates.”

Source: Democratic Party


Marijuana Politics also has a report on the subject