Democrats are making the issue of marijuana legalization part of their party platform. In an apparent nod and concession to Bernie Sander's unsuccessful but extremely popular bid for presidency, Democrats have narrowly passed an amendment that would push for cannabis to be rescheduled under the Controlled Substance Act and would seek a "reasoned pathway to future legalization." The amendment was passed by one vote showing the apprent divide on this issue.
The Sanders campaign has been largely made up of young millenials, a group the Clinton campaign cannot ignore and must draw in to create a cohesive campaign. Sanders is expected to endorse presidential nominee Hillary Clinton this week, an endorsement he said had to be earned. Although his campaign fell short, his retoric, honesty and sympathy for the middle and lower income earners has made him extremely popular and polarizing for the Democrats who see Hillary as the opposite. By adopting some of the more popular ideas that have driven Sanders campaign, Democrats hope his supporters will follow suit and unite behind Hillary.
Hillary has previously expressed her desire to "wait and see" what the effects of medical and recreational marijuana are in states with legalization laws. Her views on marjuana have evolved largely in favor with public opinion regarding the plant now calling for more studies to be conducted to assess the actual medical values.
So what will this mean to cannabis businesses?
This could be the first breath of relief for industry businesses who are still subject to local state and federal intervention. Companies in medically legal states like California are operating without any clear protection and are unable to operate like other businesses within the state. Whether the DEA will decide to reschedule cannabis remains to be seen. The self-imposed timeframe has come and gone and no clear deadline has been re-established. Several states are likely to decide in November the status of medial and recreational cannabis within their states and they will be looking for the next President and Congress to sanctify the laws by taking cannabis off the Schedule 1 list.
The text of the marijuana amendment:
Because of conflicting laws concerning marijuana, both on the federal and state levels, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.