Democrats Strengthen Platform Language Supporting Marijuana Reform

They want "a reasoned pathway for future legalization," while Republicans can't even support limited medical use.


Jacob Sullum

The Democratic Party's platform committee, which already had approved reform-friendly language on marijuana, strenghtened that plank over the weekend, adopting an amendment backed by Bernie Sanders delegates that recommends rescheduling the drug to provide "a reasoned pathway for future legalization." That stance seems like a compromise between the positions staked out by presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, who says marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to facilitate research, and Sanders, who last fall became the first senator to introduce legislation that would repeal the federal ban on cannabis by removing the plant and its products from the CSA's schedules altogether.

The earlier platform language endorsed marijuana federalism and added, "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." The new language says, "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 [sic] Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization." Assuming that plank is in the final version of the platform, it will be the first time either major party has endorsed marijuana legalization, even as a distant prospect.

On Monday, meanwhile, the GOP platform committee rejected a much milder plank that voiced support for states that allow medical use of noncombustible marijuana products. The Huffington Post reports that one opponent of the language warned that mass murderers are "young boys from divorced families, and they're all smoking pot." Was that you, Roger Morgan?

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  1. I blame Harry Anslinger. Seriously, how can Reefer Madness still be a thing ?

  2. The earlier platform language [said] “allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty.” The new language says

    nothing like that.

    1. Come on. Lucy really looks like she’s going to hold the football steady this time.

  3. Assuming that plank is in the final version of the platform, it will be the first time either major party has endorsed marijuana legalization, even as a distant prospect.

    While the Republicans are poised to nominate a candidate who publicly advocated legalizing ALL drugs for decades.

    1. Shill harder.

  4. Free speech and gun rights first and second, marijuana a bit further down the list. Their position is a good thing but it should be kept in perspective.

    1. You wouldn’t say that if you or a loved one suffered from one of the myriad of ailments that MJ successfully treats. Pain, arthritis, migraines, anxiety, glaucoma, eating disorders, chemo sickness, insomnia, epilepsy…all can be treated by high CBD MJ.

      1. I have epilepsy and I’m saying that.

        1. Good for you. A neighbor down the street had to move from Oklahoma to Colorado so that they could lawfully treat their epileptic son with CBD oil. With it his seizures are mild and controllable, without it his choice is very severe brain surgery or continuing meds that wreck his quality of life.

          1. I feel for the kid but it’s my view that more individuals benefit from free speech and gun rights than do from medical marijuana-in my view they’re more important. We just disagree here which is fine.

      2. the fact is that as a controlled substance, you have to give up other rights to use it. a bit too much of a catch, for something that the government has no right to deny in the first place.

        i personally think the biggest reason they want to make marijuana easier to get, is because this can disqualify more people from the ability to own guns. it’s already not hard to get it… but if they make it so you get it through your doctor….. (with forced reporting requirements, thanks to the ACA…)

  5. Here’s a thought – ask the candidates if they’re willing to put a large sum of their own money in escrow, and they will only be able to get the money back if, after leaving office, they persuade an impartial arbiter that they have kept the promises in their party’s campaign platform, plus and separate campaign promises they chose to make.

    I they decide that a promise they made is actually against the public interest, they can resign rather than carry it out and still get their money back.

    I wonder if any viable candidate would take a bet like that?

    (HINT: No.)

      1. If they can’t get the arbiter to release the money, it goes to the other party’s campaign committee.

  6. Right result for the wrong reasons. Stuck clocks and blind squirrels come to mind.

  7. The Huffington Post reports that one opponent of the language warned that mass murderers are “young boys from divorced families, and they’re all smoking pot.”

    You can’t really dispute such obvious facts.


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  9. HILLARY: “They’re still fooling around with the platform? Poor dears, do they think I will even *read* the platform, much less try and carry it out?”

    1. HILLARY: Le programme politique, c’est moi!

  10. This is nothing more than an attempt to get the Bernie supporters (i.e. millennials) on board, along with free college tuition. I am sure that Hillary will order a study be done before any action is taken, and of course the study, which will be done by the CDC or FDA, will show her that pot is bad for “The Children.” That will be the end of it, folks.

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