American Democrats Again Fail To Include Recreational Reform In 2020 Platform
It’s official. The Democratic Party has caved on cannabis reform. Again.
It’s so 2008. Not to mention 2014. Hillary and Cannabis was always a long, bad joke, especially considering her husband’s record on the topic. And you have to wonder, considering the consequences of the last waffle in 2016, just as California crossed the line, what on earth the DNC is smoking.
Here is the newsflash. The Democratic National Committee, the group of people who helps set the platform of issues for the official platform for the 2020 national election for the “D” side of the aisle, has decided not to include recreational legalization in the list of prioritized issues on the docket this fall.
Maybe beating Trump is still too complicated. But cannabis reform is a no-brainer. It is also more than slightly related.
Even more tragic was the fact that the dissenting group of Democrats included the vote of Representative Barbara Lee from California. This state is still struggling to get its rec monster, repeatedly delayed since 1996, when medical use became legal per state law under control. Not to mention a congresswoman who is co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
What is up with that? At a time when cannabis jobs are expected to outnumber computer programmers by the end of the year, in a nation still reeling not only from the Pandemic but the economic fallout of the same, it seems yet another craven (not to mention economically retarded) response to the legalization discussion on the part of the DNC.
And it also seems mostly out of respect for the wooden policies so far proposed by “Uncle Joe” Biden.
It has never been clearer that at least the issues underpinning reform – including healthcare, economic development, civil rights, and more, are still far from the agendas of elected Democrats.
In the meantime, the Republicans on the cannabis bandwagon are making sure that their state economies benefit. See the economic fallout of the 2018 Farm Bill and its impact on the Hemp industry across the United States.
Could Biden Lose the Election Over This?
While pundits are increasingly confident about the meltdown of the increasingly autocratically inclined current resident of the White House (“election rescheduling” and citizen-snatching by federal law enforcement personnel in unmarked cars off the streets of multiple U.S. streets aside of late), it is far too early yet to take such a confident stance. After all, most pundits, if not Trump himself, expected to lose the last time, in part based on faulty polling. Not to mention a fundamental lack of sensitivity to economic suffering and how that tied into digital campaigning that allowed the Trump campaign to use social media for gaming Electoral College Math and undermining the popular vote.
Beyond any mistakes, invasions, or foot in mouth gaffes that Biden might make that could compete with Trump, the election is not “in the bag.”
It seems short-sighted, in other words, for Democrats to give up on an issue that has a very good chance of sweeping them in, no matter the actions of the clown currently in residence at 1600 Penn. The majority of the U.S. now supports recreational reform. That tide is likely to be even higher post-November thanks to multiple state election campaigns underway across the U.S. on the issue. Not to mention put on the ballot at the state level by default as a result.
Beating Trump is not enough if the response to the current crisis is just more warmed-over blather.
The world has changed. And on cannabis reform, an essential issue directly now tied to economic reform, jobs, and healthcare. Not to mention the potential “garlic” against the virus vampire that is COVID.
So here is the real newsflash. The DNC is missing in action. Yet. Again.
What Is Likely To Happen In The U.S. (And Does It Matter Elsewhere)
Tragically, even if Biden enters the White House in January 2021, legalization advocates should expect more stonewalling and delay. Biden, just like his predecessors, just “does not get it.” And just like Obama, has shown himself to be equally capable of throwing this issue and its advocates, not to mention business community under the bus.
Further, what this also belies is a fear in Congress, in particular, that a widespread national referendum on Cannabis would indeed pass, removing the ability of Congress to set the tone if not the stage of further reform. By voting down the idea of putting full and final change on the national docket (like New Zealand already has for this fall), Congressional Leaders will inevitably put their stamp of approval if not influence on a legislative solution.
And that, in turn, is likely to be heavily based on what California ends up doing.
What this means is that the topic will be pushed back federally in the United States for at least the next three years.
That is not what is happening in Europe, no matter the delays and debates and tedious regulatory hoops that CBD is currently facing. Luxembourg, for starters, has the issue on its schedule of legislative accomplishments by the end of 2021. That, in turn, is already changing the conversation across Europe, starting with Germany, home of the third-largest medical market. And, of course, now seeing a hit to its economy not seen since WWII.
If Luxembourg can do it, in other words, and Switzerland and Denmark are already considering the same, don’t expect European forces to sit this one out much longer even if it is in the form of a strategic lawsuit on the constitutional rights of cannabis users at the E.U. level.
It is no longer out of the question. The conversation is now clearly in the room.
Regardless, however strange this may be, Europe may end up pushing reform in the U.S. as much if not more than reform in other places at least on a federal level.
State organizers in the United States right now should revolt against the DNC itself and insist that federal reform along with state change is put on state ballot choices as of this fall all over the country.
The Empire Is Striking Back
Although, of course, there is no holding back the industry now, and at a global level (see CBD and COVID if nothing else beyond increased sales during the lockdown in many places), there is a regulatory response against the fast pace of change over the last five years.
From the DNC in Washington to the European Commission in Brussels, in other words, the brakes are being put on by those with the power to make these decisions.
The question is, and this is one both consumers and the industry itself must decide, is whether to accept the same, or put more pressure on, and in various creative ways, to force through the roadblocks now in the way, and set a path if not a final timetable for the end of Prohibition.
But it is also clear that most politicians now in “office” if not seeking it at a national level in the U.S. and elsewhere, clearly still, do not get “I.T.”
Isn’t it time to change that, once and for all, in a year when global healthcare and Cannabis is one of the most critical conversations in the room? If not, the only one.