California Democrats: “Time to Legalize”
California Democrats have plenty on their hands when it comes to marijuana. But that hasn’t stopped them from taking a stand on behalf of other states that are loosening the reins on pot law.
The California Democratic Party passed a resolution in July expressing support for the full legalization of weed in Washington and Colorado. The resolution asked the Obama administration to back off and let states that want to legalize marijuana choose their own paths.
Medical marijuana has brought many job opportunities to the state. It has also allowed for patients to receive their medication more easily than ever. Companies like My Green Fast are changing the medical marijuana industry with services such as medical marijuana delivery.
The resolution was released July 21. It asks Obama to end the crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana, whether recreational or medical – including California. It reads, in part:
“The California Democratic Party requests: President Obama to allow the newly enacted marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington to go into effect with no federal interference, and . . . end the Department of Justice interference and raids by federal agencies in states with medical marijuana laws.”
The resolution points out that marijuana legalization in these states has strong voter support, that enforcing federal prohibition is costly and disruptive, and that enforcement policies are racially biased.
“18 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing the use of cannabis . . . and Colorado and Washington in 2012 passed laws legalizing the recreational use. . . .
“The United States spends over $20 billion a year enforcing marijuana prohibition laws, and thousands of people are murdered every year involving the smuggling of illegal drugs into the United States and marijuana accounts for over half of these illegal drugs . . .
“Marijuana prohibition laws are racially enforced with a far larger percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics convicted and imprisoned for marijuana prohibition offenses than their white counterparts even though marijuana use in their communities is no more than in white communities.”
Party members said they would launch a comprehensive study “to produce recommendations for reform of our nation’s marijuana prohibition laws.” And they called on California lawmakers to enact better policies to guide the state’s medical marijuana industry and the localities that want to regulate or ban it.
California’s medical marijuana market has been under siege for several years, as hundreds of cities and counties across the state use zoning laws and other regulations to ban retail dispensaries. The few liberal holdouts that still allow them are in the process of tightly regulating them.
At the same time, federal prosecutors have partnered with many of those municipalities to launch an aggressive crackdown on medical marijuana providers, threatening many with long prison sentences, property seizures and closed businesses.
The pro-legalization resolution was sponsored by the Brownie Marie Democratic Club of Riverside County, which describes itself as the “first medical cannabis club in any major party.” Recent polls show a strong majority of Americans back the legalization of medical marijuana, while about half the country supports full legalization.