Published on Jun 2, 2014
The House of Representatives in Washington passed a resolution that would end all funding for federal raids on legal medical marijuana dispensaries.
The move came as an amendment to a little-noticed bill, sponsored by Sam Farr, a Democrat, and Republican Dana Rohrabacher, both from California. It passed on a vote of 219 to 189. Most democrats voted in favor of the amendment, with the majority of Republicans opposed. With 49 members of the GOP favoring the move, it passed the full House. This is the first time the lower house of Congress has ever approved such a measure.
The original bill provides funding to several government agencies, including the Justice Department. That agency enforces federal marijuana prohibition in states that have legalized the natural medicine.
Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project told the press, “Congress is officially pulling out of the war on medical marijuana patients and providers. Federal tax dollars will no longer be wasted arresting seriously ill medical marijuana patients and those who provide to them.”
There are still several hurdles to be overcome before the spigot of federal dollars for such raids is shut off. The spending bill will need to clear the Democratically-controlled Senate, and would need to be signed by the President.
This amendment may signal a change in worldview from federal lawmakers, concerning cannabis.
Rohrabacher told Congress, “if a doctor feels that he needs to prescribe something to alleviate that suffering it is immoral for this government to get in the way.”
Steve Cohen, a 65-year-old Democratic congressman from Tennessee, stated, “Marijuana does not make people commit crime. It makes them overeat.”