Marijuana Advocates at DNC see Big Moment for Legalization

Article by Miranda Green, News Channel 5

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The Democratic Party is poised to put marijuana on its party platform for the first time in history and pro-legalization groups and some members of Congress are overjoyed.

The party plank language is broader than many advocates would like, though. Many argue that re-scheduling marijuana or taking it off of the Controlled Substances Act entirely is the necessary next step. Nevertheless, the language is a step in the right direction and many expect it to be adopted Wednesday night on the convention floor.

Currently it reads: “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.”

To celebrate, marijuana groups are hosting events all week long. The Philadelphia branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws started Monday by marching a 51-foot inflatable marijuana joint from Philadelphia City Hall to the Wells Fargo Center, site of the DNC. Some supporters also will stop for a “flash toke” at 4:20 p.m. Additionally groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project are holding fundraisers and meet-ups to spread the word of reform.

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