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May 17, 2014

"Could This Be the Year for a House Reversal on Medical Marijuana?"

Congress and cannabisThe title of this post is the headline of this intriguing article from Roll Call.  Here are excerpts:

The last time Rep. Dana Rohrabacher offered an amendment on the House floor to protect states rights when it came to legalization of medical marijuana, it was defeated 163–262. Since that vote in 2012, four states — Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maryland — passed laws or regulations allowing for the use of medical marijuana, bringing the total to 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Now, supporters of medical marijuana anticipate the strongest vote yet on a states-rights amendment when the fiscal 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations measure (HR 4660) comes to the House floor in a few weeks, while lawmakers are weighing offering additional marijuana provisions on appropriations measures. Most, but not all, of the proposals lawmakers are considering bringing up are aimed at protecting state laws and programs on medical marijuana use.

The chief provision, which will be offered as an amendment to the appropriations bill funding the Commerce and Justice departments, would prohibit the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana users and providers who are abiding by their state’s law. The House has voted on similar proposals six times since 2003, with about 150 to 160 members supporting it each time. But advocates expect that more lawmakers than ever will support the bipartisan proposal this year, which will likely be introduced by two California lawmakers, Rohrabacher, who is a Republican, and Democrat Sam Farr. Boosters expect to win new backers this year because of the increasingly high poll numbers supporting legalization....

That increasing support may lead lawmakers to hold additional marijuana policy votes on other appropriations bills. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., may consider offering an amendment to the Financial Services appropriations measure that would help marijuana businesses get access to banking by updating federal rules, according to his office. An aide for Colorado Democrat Jared Polis said he also may offer marijuana policy amendments, although he has not made a decision yet....

The backers of the Rohrabacher amendment are an unusual group of social liberals and conservatives who see legalization as a states’ rights issue. Lawmakers including Blumenauer, Michigan Republican Justin Amash and Texas Republican Steve Stockman have voted for it in the past.

Georgia Republican Paul Broun, a physician who supports the amendment, said in a statement that the provision makes sense “from both a medical perspective and a Constitutional perspective.” He added, “This amendment would ensure that medical marijuana patients adhering to their state’s laws would not be punished by an overreaching federal government.”

Cross-posted at Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

May 17, 2014 at 08:49 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The usual fight of conservative v. anti-federal power.

Local option in this area is to me a lot more constitutionally logical than the fight against regulation of the national health care system. YMMV.

Posted by: Joe | May 18, 2014 12:29:43 PM

It is time for America to accept medical heroin. If people want to overdose it is their God Given right.

Posted by: Liberty1st | May 18, 2014 1:49:11 PM

so my comment deemed deletion? go ahead and mark me as a non reader in your sampling of who reads your blog....

Posted by: Kathleen Chippi | May 19, 2014 2:36:54 AM

Kathleen. Not a deletion, unless you physically threatened a judge. More like things not working, especially with Capcha.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 19, 2014 7:51:18 AM

The Colorado tax revenues after only a few months make fed legalization as inevitable as a planetary orbit, like the sun will rise in the East.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 19, 2014 7:53:29 AM

I don't know SC I think quite a lot of the two-faced traitors running this country now need to be threatened at a minimum!

Posted by: rodsmith | May 20, 2014 11:33:53 AM

"medical heroin"

In "The Barbarian Invasions," that actually is used.

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-barbarian-invasions-2003

Heroin is an opiate and in the 19th Century was deemed to have medical uses.

Posted by: Joe | May 20, 2014 2:36:11 PM

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