The Democratic Party platform committee recently endorsed the following language as a component of the party's official platform:
"Because of conflicting laws concerning marijuana, both on the federal and state levels, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization."The vote was extremely close, and immediately contested by opponents in the party on technical grounds. But it ultimately stood, and in what is seen as a victory for supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, is now the Democrats' official position.
There's obviously a long walk from 'a reasoned pathway for future legalization' to being able to buy a joint at Starbucks, but the fact that one of the two major political parties in our country has taken this step is, in the words of a great American, a big fucking deal. It'll happen - just a matter of when.
Meanwhile, just to our North, things are moving in the right direction even more quickly. Canada's ruling Liberal Party intends to introduce legislation in early 2017 legalizing marijuana use in the Great White North. Legalization was a major element of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's campaign last year, and is supported by a majority of Canadians (the same is true of a majority of Americans, for what it's worth. Observers in both countries speculate that, should the measure pass in Canada, American border states will be motivated to pass their own legalization laws in an effort to limit cross-border pot tourism.
So there is some progress towards rationality in the world, after all. Who knows, maybe when the day comes that we can all enjoy a legal toke together, we'll start solving some of our other issues.