Democrats endorse cannabis legalization pathway

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After hours of wrangling, the Democratic Party on Saturday endorsed a “reasoned pathway to future legalization” of marijuana as part of its convention platform, and called for MJ to be downgraded from Schedule 1 on the federal government’s list of controlled substances.

Codifying support for the legalization of recreational marijuana is an important step that starkly distinguishes the Democrats from rival Republicans in terms of cannabis policy. Prior to Saturday’s meeting, the two parties and their presumptive White House candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, had few significant marijuana policy differences to speak of.

Clinton said she supports medical marijuana research and in November said cannabis should be reclassified from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, while Trump said that cannabis was a decision to be left up to the individual states.

According to the Washington Post, the platform amendment reads: “Because of conflicting laws regarding marijuana, both on the federal and state levels, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway to future legalization.”

The platform doesn’t spell out what a “reasoned pathway” means.

In June, California’s Democratic Party announced its support for the recreational legalization effort underway in that state, while Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego endorsed his state’s recreational legalization effort.

In May, House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said he thinks a CBD legalization measure can pass the GOP-dominated House of Representatives.