This morning cheers went up across the nation, as Congress, for the first time ever, voted to cease funding the Department of Justice efforts to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries, caretakers, providers, and growers functioning legally under state law. The Department of Justice encompasses the DEA (the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal agency typically tasked with medical marijuana raids).
"The U.S. House of Representatives just voted 219 - 189 to pass an amendment to put a stop to DEA medical marijuana raids in states where it is legal! Similar amendments have been voted on in years past, but we've never even come close to passing before (the previous record was 165 yea votes in 2007)," Tom Angell, Chairman of the Marijuana Majority said to us via email. "The amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill would prohibit the Department of Justice from spending any money to prevent the implementation of laws in any of the 32 states (plus DC) which either have comprehensive medical marijuana programs or are moving to enact limited systems focused on providing children with an extracted low THC/high CBD form of marijuana to treat severe seizure disorders. It remains to be seen whether the Senate version of the bill will end up including similar language."
He continued: "This year's huge vote increase can largely be attributed to the fact that lawmakers only recently began hearing the moving stories of the many children whose severe seizures are only relieved by marijuana. Being able to list these CBD states in the amendment text meant that more members of Congress that represent these states voted yes than otherwise would have. Counting these states, 60 percent of the U.S. population lives in a place where state law disagrees with federal law."
Here is the Amendment, courtesy Angell:
AMENDMENT TO H.R. 4660, AS REPORTED (CJS APPROPRIATIONS)
OFFERED BY MR. ROHRABACHER OF CALIFORNIA
At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following: