Democrats don’t foresee marijuana legalization as part of 2020 policy platform

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The Democratic National Convention doesn’t want to consider cannabis legislation this year

As much as marijuana legalization seems to be more of an urgent matter, not even Democrats are confident that this is something that can happen this year. According to reports, the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) platform committee rejected on Monday an amendment that would have called the party to support marijuana legalization this year as an official policy plank. Despite several delegates giving testimony and speaking advocating for the legalization, the members of the committee said no to legal cannabis in 2020.

Many delegates spoke about how legal marijuana can end the war on drugs, as well as help resolve racial inequity issues that were worsened by current legislations. However, following the discussion the panel held, the proposal was refused in a 50-106 vote, with three abstentions. Instead, the Democratic party opted for keeping the same language than the draft platform that was already released last week.

“We cannot ignore the fact that the current marijuana criminalization policy has in too many cases been used to target people of color,” delegate Dennis Obduskey, who introduced the amendment, said. “They are unfairly and disproportionately six times more likely to be arrested than other citizens.” The documents aim to decriminalize cannabis possession, issue automatic expungements of marijuana-related convictions and a federal rescheduling of the plant. The document even contains similar language to recommendations issued by the criminal justice reform task force that was organized by presidential candidate Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

One person speaking in favor of the legalization is Iowa County Supervisor Stacey Walker, who was, in the past, a member of the Biden-Sanders criminal justice task force. He said that black people are being “overpoliced and brutalized over the same trace amounts of marijuana that white kids in this country are using without fear of repercussion or consequence.”