In another sign of the influence of progressives on the platform of the Democratic Party, DNC platform committee members this week adopted new planks in their platform calling for a reasoned pathway to future legalization” of marijuana, as well as downgrading marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act.
As the Washington Post reports from Orlando, the 81-80 vote in favor was a surprise to many who expected the party to embrace a state-by-state legalization strategy.
Back home in New Mexico, state Democrats already carried Marijuana policy reform in the state platform. “Marijuana should be decriminalized” says the Democratic Party of New Mexico platform.
At the time it was adopted, that position was on the forefront of marijuana policy change nationwide. Now national Democrats seem to have thrown down a challenge for Democratic Members of Congress and future Democratic presidents, whomever she may be.
Here in New Mexico, a campaign by ProgressNow New Mexico and the Drug Policy Alliance collected tens-of-thousands of signatures in Santa Fe and Albuquerque to place municipal Marijuana decriminalization statutes on the ballot for voters. Santa Fe City Councilors adopted the ordinance directly from petition, making Santa Fe the first city to decriminalize marijuana in local policy.
The Albuquerque question was extended to all Bernalillo County voters. 60% of voters approved, prompting progressive City Councilors to pass a local decriminalization ordinance. Mayor Berry, a Republican, vetoed the measure.
Since then, many former opponents of public marijuana use in New Mexico have changed their tune. Darren White, a former Bernalillo County Sheriff and staunch drug war advocate, announced last year that he and a group of former local law enforcement officials would open a medical marijuana dispensary.
The Republican Party of New Mexico, no surprise, is less supportive of these efforts. “We oppose any effort to legalize or decriminalize the recreational use of drugs,” they say in their party platform. That hasn’t changed in more than a decade.
Hat Tip to our friends at ProgressTexas for flagging this news today.