A bipartisan group of 62 members of Congress is asking House leaders to protect state medical marijuana policies and the patients and businesses that rely on them from federal enforcement agents and prosecutors.
Photo by Tom Sydow
“We respectfully request that you include language barring the Department of Justice from prosecuting those who comply with their state’s medical marijuana laws,” the lawmakers, led by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), wrote in a letter sent to the top Republican and Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee on Friday. “We believe such a policy is not only consistent with the wishes of a bipartisan majority of the members of the House, but also with the wishes of the American people.”
The provision, which has been part of federal law since 2014, is a rider to appropriations legislation that prevents the Drug Enforcement Administration and other Justice Department agencies from spending money to interfere with the implementation of state policies allowing medical cannabis.
It was first approved by a House floor vote of 219-189 in 2014 and then again in 2015 by a margin of 242-186. It has also been adopted by the