Last week, the House of Representatives voted on a number of bills related to state medical marijuana laws and the federal government’s tendency to ignore those laws. Among the resolutions voted on is a bill to cut the DEA’s budget. One measure the house voted on that was unfortunately defeated was a bill to prevent the feds from enforcing federal cannabis prohibition laws over individual state’s laws. That bill was defeated 206-222, with 24 House Democrats voting against the bill and a majority of House Republicans in favor of it.
In a statement with US News and World Report Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) stated, “It’s time for the federal government to no longer make marijuana use and possession criminal. It’s clear the public is already there, and it takes Congress sometimes a little bit of time to catch up. But with the votes you’ve already seen and I believe you will see there’s growing bipartisan support to no longer have marijuana as a federal crime.”
Lieu’s words match a recent Quinnipiac University poll stating that a majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. Opponents of legalization called the measure’s defeat “a victory for America’s kids.”
In a victory for medical cannabis advocates, the House voted again on a law passed in 2015, barring the federal government from prosecuting legal dispensaries and their patients. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) who favored the law said, “Passage of this amendment brings us one step closer to providing relief for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other medical conditions.”
The House also voted again on a law protecting farmers growing hemp legally from their crops being seized by the Feds. Overall 9 million was cut from DEA departments specifically devoted to cannabis and most of their budget was reappropriated to help children of domestic violence victims.
Some say that the type of mood the policymakers the Representatives present towards cannabis is positive, others claim the Representatives just wish to allow states the right to decide for themselves, what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!