Decriminalize marijuana: Democratic Party, please campaign to remove federal prohibitions

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Eight states have legalized recreational cannabis use, but the federal government still classifies cannabis as a prohibited Schedule I controlled substance. Many more states have approved medicinal uses for marijuana and/or are considering decriminalizing the plant or allowing recreational use. 

On January 4, 2018, U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced that the Department of Justice policy will be to prosecute cannabis possession and distribution. The Department of Justice retains authority for federal cannabis prosecutions because of the current status of federal laws. 

Only Congress can change these laws. The signers of this petition ask Senator Chris Van Hollen, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Representative Ben Ray Luján, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to advise all 2018 Democratic Congressional candidates to campaign to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. 

Congress should remove all cannabis prohibitions from federal law to defer to state and local authorities on how to address cannabis use among their citizens. 

Until Congress acts, legal marijuana users and dispensaries will face risk of prosecution that is subject to the caprice of whichever individual heads the Department of Justice at any given moment in time. 

It is past time for Congress to remove itself from cannabis prohibition. 

Decriminalizing marijuana presents a rare opportunity for Congress to actually act consistent with the will of a large majority of citizens and voters. It’s left only to decide which political party will lead on the issue and produce the votes. 

Please sign this petition asking the Democratic Party to campaign and deliver on this issue. 

 

 



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