Democrats endorsed a “reasoned pathway” to future marijuana legalization during the party’s national convention full Platform Committee meeting last Saturday in Orlando, Florida, the Washington Post reports.
Supporters and delegates of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run were reportedly behind the push to add the language to the party platform. Tennessee delegate David King, a lawyer, backed an amendment removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. King said marijuana’s inclusion in the act was to hurt “hippies and blacks” during the drug policy “craze” of President Richard Nixon, but the party settled on a more measured approach.
The drafting party agreed on language calling for “policies that will allow more research on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty.”
Some members were concerned that the language was too strong, and undermined state-by-state efforts. The amendment, however, was approved by a vote of 81 to 80; there were 187 voting committee members.
In addition to the marijuana amendment, the Platform Committee also came together on an amendment that calls for the demilitarization of police, encouraging better community relations and de-escalation training.
The platform is revered as the most “progressive” in the party’s history by both the Sanders camp and Hilary Clinton’s supporters. Clinton’s camp is hoping the progressive nature of the plan is enough to woo Sanders delegates and voters to vote for her in November. The platform is expected to be officially unveiled during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia during the last week of July.
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