- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is embarrassed fellow Democrats recently excluded marijuana legalization from the party’s official platform, the congresswoman said in an interview out Thursday.

The progressive lawmaker made her feelings clear during an interview conducted on Capitol Hill this week after Democratic National Committee delegates voted against including legal pot on its policy plank.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing that this is not on the Democratic platform,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told The News Station, a website that covers the marijuana industry, according to the outlet.

“The Democratic platform on this issue is more conservative than it was in 2016,” said Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, the site reported.

DNC delegates voted 105-60 on Monday to exclude an amendment from the party’s platform that would have pushed for nationally legalizing marijuana, which is federally prohibited but legal in most states.

Rather than push to fully end prohibition, the DNC’s current draft platform contains language calling for the government to decriminalize marijuana and automatically expunge past convictions — a policy more in line with that of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden than Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

“There is an ideological diversity in the party, and right now the top of the ticket is in the more conservative part of the party,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “That’s the reality. And it’s on us to push.”

“In this issue, it’s not even about being futuristic or next generation,” she added, according to The News Station. “This is an idea whose time has come.”

Thirty-three states have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana, including 11 where adults are permitted to use pot for recreational purposes as well. Of those, nine have systems in place for regulating, taxing and selling retail weed.

Roughly two-thirds of Americans believe the use of marijuana should be made federally legal, according to the results of a Pew Research Center study released last year.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide