bernie sanders

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U.S.: Senators And Congressmen Who Support Marijuana Legalization

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) this week released its 2016 congressional scorecard on marijuana policy. Twenty U.S. representatives and two senators received an 'A' grade, indicating that "this member has publicly declared his/her support for the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults," according to NORML.

But NORML goes on to point out that Congress lags far behind the public when it comes to support for marijuana reform. Four states plus D.C. have already legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and this fall voters in five more will decide whether to legalize recreatiional weed.

"It is apparent that voters' views regarding marijuana policy have evolved significantly over the past decades," said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, in an email. "Yet, the positions of their federally elected officials have not progressed in a similar manner."

Of the 22 congressmen supporting full marijuana legalization only one, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) is a Republican. Conversely, among the 32 most vocal opponents of marijuana reform only one, Sen. Tom Carper (D.-Del.) is a Democrat.

Here is the list of representatives and senators who support marijuana legalization:

Mike Honda (D.-Calif.)
Jared Huffman (D.-Calif.)
Barbara Lee (D.-Calif.)
Ted Lieu (D.-Calif.)

U.S.: Bernie Sanders Calls The DEA Decision On Marijuana 'Absurd'

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Bernie Sanders and other Democrats have been unhappy with the DEA's recent decision to refuse to reschedule marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration had said earlier this year that they would make a decision on whether or not to reschedule marijuana. The decision was made to change nothing, and so marijuana remains grouped with the most harmful substances in America.

The DEA claims that there is “no currently accepted medical use in the United States” for marijuana and so it will remain on the list of Schedule I drugs. Bernie Sanders and many other Americans believe this is a big fat lie. A majority of Americans now believe the substance should be made legal, and the DEA is clearly ignoring the wants and needs of the American public.

Sanders tweeted after the DEA's announcement that “keeping marijuana in the same category as heroin is absurd. The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana.”

He followed up with another tweet, saying “if we are serious about criminal justice reform, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substance Act.”

Vermont: Bernie Sanders Slams DEA For Not Reclassifying Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Bernie Sanders responded to the Drug Enforcement Administration's decision not to reclassify marijuana on Thursday, taking to Twitter to make it clear that he was dissatisfied.

The tweet reads:

"People can argue about the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but everyone knows it's not a killer drug like heroin. https://twitter.com/USATODAY/status/763727086573920256 …"

Sanders introduced legislation last November while seeking the Democratic nomination for president that would entirely de-schedule marijuana or remove it from the Controlled Substances Act, decriminalizing it at the federal level. His legislation is modeled after a bill introduced in 2013 by Rep. Jared Polos (D-Colo.) and would allow states to decide how to regulate marijuana.

Pennsylvania: Marijuana Activists March To Democratic Convention With 51-Foot Joints

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Two 51-foot inflatable joints were marched up Broad Street in Philadelphia yesterday to celebrate the Democratic National Committee's progressive platform on marijuana.

About two dozen members of the Philadelphia branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) carried the blow-up joints about 3.5 miles from Philadelphia City Hall to the Wells Fargo enter, where the convention is taking place.

Marijuana is a central issue at the convention this year, and pro-legalization groups are pleased with the progress being made. Activists have been joined by some members of Congress, fighting for marijuana reform, hoping that federal laws will soon mirror those of states that have legalized marijuana.

One joint read "Legalize" and "Hillary, Deschedule Cannabis Now".

The other read "End the Racist Drug War" and Berned by the DNC", referring to the leaked e-mails that showed high-ranking party members had favored Hillary Clinton. Sanders became an advocate for marijuana reform during his campaign, and had a lot to do with why the issue made it part of the DNC platform at all. He refrained from endorsing Clinton until certain issues from his campaign, including marijuana reform and free college tuition, were added to the party's platform draft.

U.S.: Democratic Party Officially Includes Marijuana Reform In Its 2016 Platform

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Democratic National Committee has officially made the decision to include marijuana reform in the party's 2016 platform.

The DNC announced over the weekend that the party wants to eliminate the criminal penalties associated with marijuana possession, increase studies into the plant's therapeutic benefits, and eliminate prohibition affecting states where cannabis is now legal.

In a statement, the party said: “We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research to be done on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty. And we recognize our current marijuana laws have had an unacceptable disparate impact, with arrest rates for marijuana possession among African-Americans far outstripping arrest rates among whites despite similar usage rates.”

The DNC's new stance on pot reform is not as deep as what presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called for. Sanders last week pushed for the DNC to embrace the total elimination of pot prohibition in the United States.

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