Members of a Democratic National Committee panel responsible for drafting the party's 2016 platform have approved a plank calling for broad marijuana law reform.
"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."
The language isn't as specific as some advocates, including Platform Drafting Committee members appointed by the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, would have liked. The Sanders campaign sent an email blast to its list on Thursday asking supporters to weigh in on a proposed plank to take marijuana completely out of the Controlled Substances Act.
To that end, at Friday's drafting committee meeting, Sanders-appointed members, led by environmental activist Bill McKibben, proposed language reading:
"We will refocus our drug policy by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allowing states to set their own policies."
But that measure, as drafted, was quickly tabled, and discussions during the panel's dinner break resulted in the longer version, which was later adopted unanimously by the 15-person panel.
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