Washington, DC: Today, the House of Representatives by voice vote passed a wide-ranging amendment restricting the Department of Justice from spending taxpayer dollars to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in the majority of US states that regulate either the adult-use and/or medical use of cannabis.
A roll call will be made later today and published at NORML.org.
“This is the most significant vote on marijuana policy reform that the House of Representatives has taken this year,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “The importance of this bipartisan vote cannot be overstated as today; nearly one in four Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute. It is time for Congress to acknowledge this reality and retain these protections in the final spending bill.”
“The next logical step for House Leadership is to bring legislation to the floor to end prohibition and demonstrate to the American people that the era of marijuana criminalization is drawing to a close,” Strekal concluded.
Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included language protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use, production, and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee amendment expands these protections to also include activities specific to the production and sale of cannabis to adults in the eleven states that have legalized the plant for anyone age 21 or older.
Similar language was passed by the House last year, yet the provision was stripped out of the final appropriations package in the conference committee.