Intra-party political battles are about as old as political parties themselves. Progressive, moderate and conservative wings of parties have battled throughout history over important issues of the day―slavery, the Civil Rights Movement and waging war. Today, Republican Party members are fighting over whether the GOP should double down on more conservative policies or whether the party should adhere to a more libertarian ideal on social issues, including cannabis law reform. While many within the Democratic Party have been advocating for their party to take a more prominent stance towards cannabis law reform, you can certainly add the federal government’s response to state cannabis law reforms as a major battle within the Democratic Party following the passage of the California Democratic Party’s official platform.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
The California Democratic Party just launched two messages, loud and proud, to President Obama when it comes to marijuana:
1. Tell your federal prosecutors to allow the new marijuana legalization laws enacted in Colorado and Washington to “go into effect without federal interference.”
2. End the Department of Justice “interference and raids in states with medical marijuana laws.” (Uh, like California.) And the federal government should launch a “comprehensive study” to produce recommendations for the reform of “our nation’s marijuana laws.”
“More and more prominent voices are speaking up to encourage the president to finally follow through on his 2008 campaign pledge to respect state marijuana laws. A few weeks ago it was the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the New York Times editorial board. Now it’s the Democratic Party of the country’s most populous state. Pressure is mounting, and sooner or later the administration is going to have to announce what it wants to do about Colorado and Washington. Almost no one is clamoring for a crackdown, so the popular — and the right — thing to do is to let these states implement their own laws without interference.”
Scientific evidence and public polling, not to mention the personal experience of our last three Presidents and a majority of the folks running for the office, should have led to a change in the policies of our Executive Branch already. However, the special interests that have made their money off of cannabis prohibition aren’t willing to give up their cash cow willingly. Concerned citizens seeking a sane cannabis policy have to continue to wage our battles through all facets of the political spectrum and enforce our will, the will of the majority. The tide is turning and momentum is at our back and having our nation’s largest political party on our side certainly doesn’t hurt.