This is an article that caught my attention last week but I hadn’t gotten around to digging into it until today. Over at National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru pointed out that the House of Representatives was going to take up a potentially historic (?) vote during their session later this month. They’ll be looking at a bill that would legalize marijuana on a national level, something that’s never faced a full vote before. That sound you hear in the background is a ton of people in Seattle ceasing smashing storefront windows, dropping their crowbars and sledgehammers and saying, “Yes? You have our attention.” But as Ramesh points out, this issue breaks down far differently between the parties than it did as little as a decade ago.
The issue splits both parties. While it was mostly Democrats who backed legalization on the House Judiciary Committee, they were joined by two Republicans: Representatives Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Tom McClintock (Calif.).
The Democratic ticket itself is split, with Senator Kamala Harris in favor and Joe Biden against legalization. And while public opinion has shifted in favor of legalization, the Democratic platform has moved in the opposite direction.
I suppose I shouldn’t have been all that surprised, but Ramesh was definitely right about the Democrats. During the big DNC meeting, the delegates held a vote on whether to include full legalization of marijuana as a plank in this year’s platform. The measure failed 105-60, which isn’t even close. Instead, they stuck with their more wishy-washy support for “decriminalization.” How many of them really feel that’s the best solution as opposed to the ones who only voted that way because that’s the position Joe Biden holds remains unknown.