Democrats Adopt Pro-Marijuana Platform

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Photo via Flickr user ConstantinAB

By Joan Eberhardt

 

The Democrats put marijuana on the platform

The Democratic Party intends to address marijuana policy reform on its official platform. The platform is expected to be adopted by the party at the national convention in Philadelphia in July. The 15-person decisionmaking panel, of whom Bernie Sanders appointed 5, agreed to add this language to the platform:

 

“We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research to be done on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty. And we recognize our current marijuana laws have had an unacceptable disparate impact, with arrest rates for marijuana possession among African-Americans far outstripping arrest rates among whites despite similar usage rates.”

 

While the language stops short of ending prohibition, it is a huge step forward. And, acknowledging right out there that marijuana prohibition is a racist issue at its heart is promising.

 

Illinois ordered to add PTSD

A judge in Chicago ordered the state of Illinois to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to its list of qualifying conditions eligible for medical marijuana. Judge Neil H. Cohen wrote strongly in his decision on Jabs v. IDPH that the IDPH director was acting unconstitutionally when he removed PTSD from the list of eligible conditions after it had been approved by an advisory board.

 

“The Director’s legal duty was to review the evidence, review the advisory board’s recommendations based thereon and render a final decision accepting or denying the proposal.  Instead, Director Shah engaged in a private investigation, hidden from public view and more importantly, hidden from the parties and arrived at his conclusion based thereon.  This process was constitutionally inappropriate.” June 28, 2016 Memorandum and Order, Jabs v. IDPH, 15 CH 16344.

 

This is the first of eight decisions in suits filed against the state. The suit was initially filed by Iraq War veteran Daniel Jabs.

 

Can marijuana save Atlantic City?

Atlantic City is hinging its hopes that marijuana legalization would help to bolster its limp economy. Democratic Assemblyman Reed Gusciora will introduce a bill to ask voters if they would approve of legalized cannabis, including recreational, medical, as well as home grown, within the confines of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

 

The 20 percent tax on cannabis the bill proposes would be split between the city and state. Cannabis legalization is popular in the state, but Gov. Chris Christie, who talks like someone who is being held hostage might talk, campaigned earlier this year for the Republican nomination saying he would use full military powers to put an end to cannabis legalization.

 

We wish Atlantic City the best of luck.

 

Quick Puffs

The future of NORML in a legalized landscape.


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