The DNC surprised advocates for marijuana reform last week, by adding marijuana reform to its national platform. The DNC said that it would aim to make marijuana possession a noncriminal offense, and fund research on the medical benefits of cannabis.
The Democratic party’s position comes as a surprise as DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been openly against cannabis reform in the past. This is of course not as far as Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders wanted to go. The DNC wants to leave marijuana reform up to individual states, while Sanders wanted legalization throughout the country.
Bill McKibben, one of the platform committee members appointed by Senator Sanders, had this to say, “The idea that marijuana is maintained in federal policy as a drug equivalent to heroin or cocaine or methamphetamine is not only silly, it’s also damaged millions of lives at this point as people have had to cope with the repercussions of that unsound federal policy.”
McKibben also added that legalization appears to have been a positive experience for the states that have legalized cannabis. Considering how outspoken the Democratic party has been in the past against cannabis reform, adding it to their official platform is a big deal for advocates.
Whether this is a move to capture votes from Sanders supporters, many of whom are still apprehensive about voting for Secretary Clinton, only time will tell. If the Democrats are serious about real reform, we hope that they will fight for real change.
Is the DNC going far enough? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!