Press Release

U.S. House Votes to Prevent DOJ From Interfering in State Medical Marijuana Laws

Jun 03, 2015


COMING UP: The House is also expected to vote on a broader amendment intended to protect state laws regulating marijuana for adult use
 
* Statement below from Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project *

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure 242-186 on Wednesday that is intended to prevent the federal government from interfering in state medical marijuana laws.

The amendment, offered by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Sam Farr (D-CA) to the House version of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, prohibits the Justice Department, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, from using funds to interfere in the implementation of laws that allow the cultivation, distribution, and use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The amendment has been offered in the House eight times since 2003, and it passed for the first time last year by a vote of 219-189. It was codified in the so-called “CRomnibus” funding bill in December, and it is expected to be included in the final spending law again this year.

The House is now expected to consider a broader measure that would not be limited to medical marijuana. The amendment, offered by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO), would prohibit the Justice Department from using funds to interfere in the implementation of state laws regulating marijuana for adult use, in addition to medical purposes.

Statement from Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project:

“Votes in support of rolling back the federal government’s war on medical marijuana are beginning to become routine. Last year, passing this amendment was unprecedented. This year, it was predictable. Medical marijuana has gone from ‘controversial’ to ‘conventional’ on Capitol Hill.

“This is an important amendment because it addresses the tension between state and federal marijuana law. We welcome it as a temporary fix, but what we really need is a comprehensive and more permanent solution. It’s time for Congress to pass legislation that ends prohibition at the federal level and allows states to determine their own marijuana policies.”

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