Democrats reject cannabis legalization for official party platform

More than two-thirds of Americans support legalizing cannabis at the federal level.

The U.S. Democratic Party will not stand behind cannabis legalization as an official party platform.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) rejected an amendment proposal to support legalizing weed at the federal level. DNC delegates voted 106-50 against the amendment, with three delegates abstaining from voting.

Instead, the DNC will adopt similar language used by the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden. That means decriminalization and leaving recreational cannabis up to the states as the DNC platform position.

“Democrats will decriminalize marijuana use and reschedule it through executive action on the federal level,” the draft platform reads. “We will support legalization of medical marijuana, and believe states should be able to make their own decisions about recreational use. The Justice Department should not launch federal prosecutions of conduct that is legal at the state level. All past criminal convictions for cannabis use should be automatically expunged,” it continues.

A task force formed by Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders expressed a similar recommendation earlier in July. Some cannabis advocates hoped that Sanders, a well-known supporter of legalizing cannabis federally, would push Biden on marijuana reform. That did not happen, and Biden appears determined not to change from this position.

Dennis Obduskey, the DNC delegate from Colorado who initially proposed the amendment, linked cannabis legalization through criminal justice reform, an idea gaining momentum in political circles. “We cannot ignore the fact that the current marijuana criminalization policy has, in too many cases, been used to target people of colour,” Obduskey said in a virtual DNC meeting. “They are unfairly and disproportionately six times more likely to be arrested than other citizens.”

FILE: Democratic presidential hopefuls former US vice president Joe Biden (L) and Senator Bernie Sanders (R) greet each other with an elbow bump as they arrive for the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate in a CNN Washington Bureau studio in Washington, DC on Mar. 15, 2020. / Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

/ Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

More than two-thirds of Americans support legalizing cannabis at the federal level, Pew Research Center data shows. Weed is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, which the Drug Enforcement Agency defines “as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

Governor Ron DeSantis used this federal language to potentially block Florida voters from approving an amendment that would legalize recreational cannabis in the state.

The DNC will vote on its official platform during August’s Democratic National Convention. It is expected to take place virtually due to the pandemic.


The, a U.S. lifestyle site that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.

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