by David Downs
SoCal activist Lanny Swerdlow recently notified us that the California Democratic Party passed two historic resolutions on the issue of marijuana at its Executive Board meeting in Costa Mesa on Sunday, July 21.
“The first resolution called on President Obama to (1) respect the voters of Colorado and Washington and to not allow any federal interference in the enactment of their marijuana legalization initiatives, (2) end the federal raids on patients and providers in medical marijuana states and (3) appoint a commission to look into the reform of our nation’s marijuana laws.
“The 2nd resolution calls on our state legislature to enact statewide guidelines for medical marijuana distribution that respects the rights of local municipalities to regulate and license but will also provide marijuana 'to all patients in all areas of California, rural as well as urban.'
US Attorney General Eric Holder has never said how the feds will respond to Colorado and Washington ending pot prohibition.
"This resolution puts the California Democratic Party, the largest state Democratic Party in the nation, firmly on the side of giving President Obama the backbone to allow Colorado and Washington go ahead and tryout marijuana legalization," stated Swerdlow.
Pending medical marijuana-related bills in the California legislature will benefit from the second resolution.
"The 2nd resolution aligns the Democratic Party with the bills now under consideration in the state legislature. The voting on these bills is going to be close and the endorsement by the Democratic Party of statewide regulation guidelines for cities and counties could help get a few of the wavering Democrats on our side."
These resolutions didn't just magically get themselves written and approved.
Swerdlow, who wrote the resolutions, said cannabis supporters are beginning to reap the fruits of grassroots political organization — something sorely lacking among MMJ supporters. Both resolutions were sponsored by The Brownie Mary Democratic Club of Riverside County — the first Democratic club focused on marijuana — then were endorsed by the Riverside County Democratic Party and several other Democratic clubs and organizations.
"The turnout of Brownie Mary Democratic Club members and other advocates at the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee meetings was instrumental in getting their endorsement. Getting it to the State Convention and Executive Board and eventually passed took the help of many Democratic activists throughout the state. This is called networking and shows that the political process will work for us when we work within the political process," Swerdlow stated.
More than eighty resolutions were considered and marijuana was not a contentious issue, said Swerdlow.
"The most contentious issue was oysters. It is fun to note that when the chair mistakenly said the medical marijuana distribution issue had been pulled for discussion, it was quickly pointed out that his eyes had dropped a line.
“It was the resolution just below the marijuana resolution that had been pulled for discussion. Everyone roared with laughter when he asked, 'is the resolution on medical marijuana distribution also being pulled' and the two hundred plus Executive Board members shouted out “NO!”"
"This is how medical marijuana patients’ right can be protected and marijuana prohibition can be brought to an end. The successful passage of these two resolutions speaks well of the growing political clout of our communities, but it will grow even more with your support."
Up next, a California Summer Lobby Day in Sacramento on August 12, for which Sacramento NORML is sponsoring a pre-lobby day confab for attendees arriving on Sunday, August 11.