Saturday, July 20, 2024

State Democrats Turning Cannabis Legalization Into Party Platform

Recently, state chapters of national political parties have used marijuana to advance their agenda by making marijuana legalization as part of their party platform. The Fresh Toast previously reported that Texas Republicans demonstrated a change of a heart toward cannabis this summer, supporting cannabis decriminalization and an expansion of the state’s extremely limited medical marijuana program.

Now, other state parties are doing the same. And Texas Republicans only have to look across the aisle to see the proof. Texas Democrats announced a broadening of their previous positive attitude toward marijuana legalization and decriminalization. The party announced their 2018 platform would include legalizing the recreational use and possession of marijuana.

The party formerly held views toward cannabis mirroring the new attitudes of Texas Republicans, chiefly including the immediate decriminalization of the drug and loosening of the restrictive Compassionate Use Act — the piece of legalization that legalized low-THC cannabinoid oil for Texas patients with intractable epilepsy.

Texas Democrats are going one step further as well, including marijuana in their conversations around health care. Here’s how the Texas Tribune summed it up:

In their discussions surrounding loosening the state’s marijuana laws, delegates also voiced their approval for an additional plank ensuring that medical cannabis prescriptions are covered under their proposed healthcare plan. Since the medicine is currently federally illegal, insurance companies don’t foot the bill — leaving families in charge of paying for CBD oil out of pocket.

New Hampshire Democrats were also inspired by their neighbors, and have added into their 2018 platform that “marijuana should be legalized, taxed and regulated”. The state party also advocates the immediate removal of marijuana from its current Schedule 1 status in the federal government.

“It’s clearly a matter of when and not if marijuana gets legalized in New Hampshire,” Chris Pappas, a Democratic executive councilor, told WMUR. “I think that at the point in time when it is legalized we need to be ready to make sure that public safety is protected.”

Cannabis legalization would place New Hampshire with surrounding states. Recreational cannabis sales will begin in Massachusetts later this year while Maine has voted to legalize recreation marijuana, much to the chagrin of Republican Gov. Paul Lepage. Earlier this year Vermont became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through the legislature.


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