July 7, 2016
We received this message from Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauers office today. The DNC platform is evolving, and the plank on drug policy has moved to the left! Thanks in no small part to efforts of Congressmen like Earl Blumenauer, Jared Polis, Dana Rohrabacher, and Senator Bernie Sanders, the popular 2016 presidential candidate, who ran on a platform of legalizing cannabis.
Though much success has been made, it’s important to recognize that the Democratic Party is the only major party to adopt a progressive drug policy plank. The Republican Party will have its hands full this year trying to deal with a Trump candidacy, and will unlikely take a progressive stance on many issues, let alone drug policy.
From Nicole L’Esperance:
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), the leading champion of marijuana legalization in Congress, and national drug policy reform organizations sent a letter to Democratic National Committee Platform Committee Members in support of the draft Democratic Platform language on marijuana policy. In their letter, the leaders also urged Committee members to make the Party’s position on marijuana policy even stronger by adding the following statement to the Platform position: “We support ending the failed federal marijuana prohibition.”
The letter is signed by Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Drug Policy Action, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Policy Project, National Cannabis Industry Association, NORML, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
The full text of the letter is included below, and an electronic version of the letter can be found here.
Rep. Blumenauer and Drug Policy Reformers Support Democratic Platform Language
July 7, 2016
The Honorable Shirley Franklin
The Honorable Dannel Malloy
Co-Chairs of the Platform Committee
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Governor Malloy, Ms. Franklin, and Members of the Platform Committee:
First, thank you for your Committee’s leadership and unanimous support of the DNC Platform
Amendment recognizing the need to change our nation’s outdated marijuana laws. This is an
important step for the Democratic Party to take, and we appreciate the inclusion of this topic in
the Draft Platform language.
We have been working in Congress and across the nation to end the failed prohibition on
marijuana. A majority of Americans agree: according to a 2015 Gallup poll, 58 percent of
Americans now support legalization of cannabis for adult use, showing that public support
continues to grow. We are encouraged to see that the DNC Platform Committee’s marijuana
amendment reflects the views of the nation and the Democratic Party.
With the addition of Pennsylvania and Ohio recently, now more than half of Americans (54
percent) live in a state with legal access to medical marijuana. As many as eight additional states
will be voting this November to expand access to marijuana in their states. The federal
government needs to do more than just allow states to be the laboratories of democracy when it
comes to marijuana – we must actively acknowledge that prohibition has failed and pass the
policies to reflect that change. In light of this, we also suggest a meaningful, but not substantive,
addition to the beginning of the statement on marijuana: We support ending the failed federal
There is bipartisan support for marijuana research, banking and tax reforms in Congress, but
Democrats must be united in leading the charge for reforming our outdated marijuana laws. We
applaud you for your leadership to pass this amendment to recognize the views shared by a
majority of Americans in making this addition to the DNC Platform.
Thank you for your service developing the DNC Platform in this historic year.
Member of Congress
Third District of Oregon
Clergy for a New Drug Policy
Doctors for Cannabis Regulation
Drug Policy Action
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Marijuana Policy Project
National Cannabis Industry Association
Students for Sensible Drug Policy