Democratic Party grassroots break with Obama on cannabis

July 05, 2012
In a sign that the Obama Administration’s tough line on state medical cannabis laws is out of touch with his grassroots support, local Democratic Party organizations are formally endorsing medical marijuana laws - and even legalization.

The North Carolina Democratic Party is formally in support of a compassionate use law in this key swing state. At the state’s June 16th convention, party officials adopted a resolution (PDF) titled, In Support of Legalizing Medical Marijuana in North Carolina. The state party also adopted a resolution in favor of industrial hemp growing.

In California, the Democratic Central Committees of San Francisco and Alameda Counties, whose combined population is over two million, passed resolutions condemning federal government raids on local dispensaries. In addition to these statements from Democratic organizations in favor of medical cannabis, the Texas, Colorado, and Washington State Democratic Parties have adopted marijuana decriminalization or legalization resolutions.

With the American electorate almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, President Obama needs the full support of Democratics to win reelection. Will grassroots opposition to the administration policy toward medical cannabis split the party? As national Democrats prepare to convene in September, we will watch for new developments.

Jonathan Bair is ASA's Social Media Coordinator, as well as an officer of his local Democratic Club.
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