Weed prohibition came into the crosshairs during a Democratic Party committee meeting Saturday. After a series of scuffles over how to un-harshen national marijuana laws, an amendment that aims to create a “reasoned pathway to future legalization” received support, as reported by The Washington Post.

The first version of the proposal demanded that the federal government remove cannabis entirely from the Controlled Substances Act. David King, a Bernie Sanders delegate present at the meeting, claimed that marijuana was only included in the act in the first place to infringe on the rights of “hippies and blacks.” Removing cannabis from the act would make federal agencies such as the DEA virtually powerless to police the marijuana business.

But many in the party felt that version of the bill went too far and would undo the painstaking work states have gone through to create working medical and recreational marijuana markets.

So, an altered version of the amendment was drafted. This one simply downgraded cannabis from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule II, which would be pretty nifty stuff, as ganja would then be recognized by the federal government as a medicine that could be legally prescribed.

The compromised draft of the amendment received 81 votes in favor while 80 opposed it. The vote being so close that committee co-chair and former Atlanta mayor Shirley Jackson called for anyone who might not have cast a vote because they were missing the necessary “clicker” voting apparatus to speak up, saying, “If you don’t have a clicker, now is the time to ask for one.”

But, anywho, the vote carried, and most of the dems went away happy-ish about the amendment. It reads like this:

“Because of conflicting laws concerning 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 for future legalization.”

Another important platform amendment was also passed, this one unanimously, which calls for a revolutionary change in the training, conduct, and criminal prosecution of police officers in regards to racial profiling and avoiding police violence.


Photo by Flickr user Mark