On July 9, 2016, the Democratic Party endorsed as part of its official platform a “reasoned pathway to future legalization” of marijuana and called for the drug to be downgraded in the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). On Saturday afternoon, the democratic platform committee introduce an amendment that would have removed Marijuana from the CSA entirely. After argument, a rival amendment was introduced which proposed downgrading marijuana from a Schedule I of the CSA to Schedule 2.
Schedule I drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote. Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule II drugs include Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin.
The text of the amendment to the Democratic Party’s platform reads as follows:
“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.”
Back in April of this year, the DEA sent a letter to lawmakers indicating that it will consider in the upcoming months reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug to help researchers better study its uses and benefits.
Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, has stated that she supports medical marijuana research and the reclassification of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump states that cannabis is a decision to be left up to the individual states.
In May of this year, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, stated that he believes that a measure for the legalization of Cannabidiol (CBD) can pass the Republican dominated House of Representatives.
Updated July 12, 2016. Despite vigorous debate, Republican delegates voted not to endorse medical marijuana as part of the Republican Party’s official platform.