Earlier this week the Democratic Party platform committee endorsed a measure that calls for a “reasoned pathway to future legalization” of marijuana. The committee further called for the drug to be downgraded in the Controlled Substances Act (FCS).
Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders had put the measure before the committee. While the platform committee stopped short of offering a full endorsement to the legalization of marijuana, the language leaves little doubt that Democrat Party has paid heed to polls that show that a majority of Americans (58%) support legalization.
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. — Democrat Party Platform
Legal retail marijuana sales to reach $4.5 billion this year
The removal of marijuana as a Class 1 violation of the FCS could pave the way for the federal government to cease using federal law to arrest and imprison thousands of marijuana users. It also could allow for the normal conduct of business in those states that have approved the sale of marijuana. One the greatest dangers to legal growers and sellers of medical and recreational marijuana are federal banking laws that essentially prohibit the use of banks to those in the marijuana business. This leads to increased crime and risk for those legally in the marijuana business.
Eight states set to vote on legalization this fall
All eyes will be on California’s vote to legalize marijuana that is on the November ballot. As the country’s most populous state, and the world’s sixth largest economy, California will play a significant role in encouraging other states to legalize the use of marijuana. Passage will put pressure on the federal government to change federal laws that are in conflict with state laws. Recent polls show that Californians support marijuana legalization.
According to a poll conducted last month by the Public Policy Institute of California, "a majority (60%) of likely voters say that, in general, marijuana use should be legal, and 37 percent say it should not be legal. — Public Policy Institute of California
The measure has some big name backers such as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Facebook President Sean Parker. Proponents say that a 15% retail tax on marijuana would generate billions of dollars a year in new tax revenues for the state.
In addition to California, at least seven other states will have measures on their ballots this fall to legalize recreational or medical cannabis. The states are Nevada, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Arizona, Missouri and Arkansas. Many feel that it’s high time for the country to accept the will of the people in legalizing marijuana.