The amendment specifically would stop the Department of Justice, including the DEA, from spending funds to prevent states from implementing their own medical marijuana laws.
Leadership for this historic vote was provided in a bi-partisan manger by two California legislators in an appropriations amendment by Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) and Sam Farr (D-California).
“States with medical marijuana laws are no longer the outliers; they are the majority,” Rep. Farr said in a statement following the vote. “This vote showed that Congress is ready to rethink how we treat medical marijuana patients in this country. This amendment gives states the right to determine their own laws for medical marijuana use; free of federal intervention. It also gives patients comfort knowing they will have safe access to the medical care legal in their state without the fear of federal prosecution.”
Representative Sam Farr (D-California) co-sponsored the amendment with Representatives Rohrabacher (R-California), Justin Amash (R-Michigan), Dina Titus (D-Nevada), Don Young (R-Alaska), Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), Tom McClintock (R-California), Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee), Paul Broun (R-Georgia), Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Steve Stockman (R-Texas), and Barbara Lee
Marijuana reform advocates praised Congress for their vote.
“This historic vote shows just how quickly marijuana reform has become a mainstream issue,” said Tom Angell, Chairman of Marijuana Majority. ” The last time a similar amendment came up it didn’t come very close to passing but, since then, more states have passed medical marijuana laws and a couple have even legalized marijuana for all adults. More states are on this way later this year and in 2016, and it’s clear that more politicians are beginning to realize that the American people want the federal government to stop standing in the way. If any political observers weren’t aware that the end of the war on marijuana is nearing, they just found out.”