Over the weekend, while you were happily consuming cannabis in one or many different ways and enjoying the brilliant sunshine, the Democratic National Party (DNC) was getting things done. The party’s 2016 platform, or near future plan if you will, includes a plank indicating what their stance on cannabis reform will be over the next few years – and it looks good. All 15 members of the platform drafting committee approved the final plank; but the language was changed a bit. Here’s what was included and not included in the final plank, which calls for the decriminalization of marijuana and an end to the disparity of African-American vs. white arrest rates in the United States.
What Does the DNC Plank Say about Marijuana?
The following is a direct quote from the final DNC plank:
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 to be done 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.
The removed language from the final DNC plank is as follows: “We refocus our drug policy by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allowing states to set their own policies.” The DNC platform can still be amended on July 8th and 9th and/or at the Philadelphia DNC national convention on July 25th. Senator Bernie Sanders had asked his constituents to endorse the rescheduling of marijuana, but the idea was tabled at the DNC platform drafting meeting.
Who is Debbie Wasserman Schultz?
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, and her relationship with Bernie Sanders and the democratic public of the United States has been rapidly deteriorating. As The Hill reported, one pro-Clinton Democratic senator stated, “There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ head on.” With her anti-cannabis stance, many democratic voters are concerned that Bernie Sanders’ previous supporters will not vote for Hillary Clinton with Wasserman Schultz at the helm of the democratic party. In response to an ad run 3 times on cable TV stating Wasserman Schultz was against medical cannabis, the Chairperson issued a press statement saying that a Florida medical marijuana initiative “could lead to “abuse, fraud, and accidents.’” A leading democratic fundraiser, John Morgan, was supporting the ballot issue and had raised over $100,000 for Wasserman Schultz two years prior to her press statement; he became an extreme critic and has affected Wasserman Schultz’ career in politics, saying she is “despised.”
Despite the political and personal issues between Wasserman Schultz and Morgan, the issue of whether or not marijuana should be decriminalized in the United States should not be affected by them unless the DNC changes its language again. Medical cannabis patients deserve to have licenses allowing them to use cannabis as medicine – the DNC Chairperson should not stand in the way of that.