U.S. House Democrats Support Ending Federal Interference in Medical Marijuana States

Nearly Three-Quarters of Democrats Break with Administration Policy, Vote to Prevent Federal Agencies from Targeting Individuals in Compliance with State Medical Marijuana Laws

Democrats in the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve an amendment to the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill late Tuesday that would effectively end the ability of federal agencies to enforce federal marijuana laws against individuals who are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. The amendment stated that federal agencies may not use any funds to target individuals in states with medical marijuana laws, as long as those people are following the laws of their respective states. This amendment, which was debated five times last decade, was reintroduced after an increase in federal actions against state-legal medical marijuana providers throughout the country over the last year.

The amendment was supported by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-New York), Rep. Sam Farr (D-California), and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California). It was defeated in the House by a vote of 163-262 at the close of voting. Of those in favor, 134 were Democrats and 28 were Republicans, with 72% of Democrats backing the measure. The strong support among Democrats is notable in light of recent criticism of the Obama administration’s crackdown on medical marijuana providers despite campaign promises that he would not use federal resources to undermine state medical marijuana laws.

“It is encouraging to see so many members sending a clear message to the Obama administration,” said Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project. “These 163 members are tired of seeing federal resources dedicated to undermining state medical marijuana laws. They understand, especially members from medical marijuana states, that when the Obama administration forces the closure of medical marijuana dispensaries, they are driving patients back to the streets to acquire their medicine. States are doing the right thing by ensuring that patients have safe access to medical marijuana. It is only a matter of time before every member of Congress accepts this truth.”

Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia allow seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana with a recommendation from their doctor. Connecticut is poised to become the 17th state to pass a medical marijuana law. Another ten states are considering bills to make marijuana legal at this time.

The amendment performed about as well this time around as it did the last time it was considered in 2007. While that may not seem like progress, it is actually quite a step forward. In the most recent vote, we saw an increase in the percentage of both Democrats and Republicans that supported this policy change. The reason that the overall support for the amendment remained relatively unchanged is that support among Republicans is still fairly low, and many more of them are now in office than in 2007.

If you are curious to see how your representative voted on this amendment, please follow this link.

22 thoughts on “U.S. House Democrats Support Ending Federal Interference in Medical Marijuana States”

  1. Marijuana needs to be taken off the schedule of drugs and made legal on the federal level. Legalization is the only approach that works.

  2. Let us not forget U.S. Patent # 6,630,507-”Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” issued in 2003 to the Dept of Health and Human Services.
    This latest “vote” is about NOTHING more than the RECOGNITION of an ALREADY held FEDERAL PATENT.
    Talk about cognitive dissonance…
    This whole Cannabis-Legalization-thing is such a Black-Eye on American POLITICIANS and the “American Process” of Law that the ridiculous has BECOME the sublime.

  3. COME ON MPP WE NEED A LINK TO THE VOTE COUNT so we can call and congratulate or reprove our congressfolk. The toll free number to the capital switchboard is 1-877-762-8762. CALL CALL CALL. Get your neighbors to call if your congresscritter voted against freedom.

  4. This will be a tough sell in a Republican House. Worthy, but tough. Example; my Congressman is a former JAG lawyer. He also knows how important convictions are for state prosecutors. Imagine how that ratio will fall if Prosecutors actually have to go after real crime instead of easily picked off kids with marijuana.

  5. This is why I will continue to vote Democrat, Republicans represent the has-been party of the elderly and serial hypocritical religious. Marijuana should be as legal as alcohol and tobacco. Even the 1937 Marijuana Tax Stamp Act was declared unConstitutional. I mean, COME ON!!! They have it classified as a Schedule 1 with Heroin!! BS!

  6. I feel marijuana is a natural plant and is here for a reason same goes for many plants that make medicines. Marijuana propertys are naturally in every living human being( not to educated on it!? I know I’ve read it b4 somewhere lol. Neways it has less side effects than almost every OTC medication and definitly narcotic pain releivers, I’m on suboxone for my pain because pain manasgement in my area is strict on the oxys,percs,vicodan mostly all opiates which I think is good but when there’s not a substitue for the people who can’t get them or who are addicted to them. (thank god for suboxone) it mangages my depression and pain very well and is effective for me. But lests say my meds for anxiety or my PTSD, ADHD , while on top of that fibromyaligia untreated last stages of lyme disease doxy. Woulnt clean it out the 4 time I tried the treatments so its pretty much a lidelong dibilatating disease for me and effects my speech slighly I’m noticeing from 12 to 13 years ago I’m 25 now these symtoms are progressing cronic all over pain joint pain in all joints swelling and inflamed feet and legs numb and tingly ecspeically in tips of fingers and toes. So a person with symtoms of all the above has no substitution to thier medication (leagally) its a shme because I deal with some pretty bad side effects from lexapro klonopin visteral adderall suboxone omeprozole diphenhydramine to sleep and the shame is a joint or two (never had a vaporizer. Must invest in one) can take care of every diagnoses and unexplainable pain and skin sesations without any bad side effects at all. Marijuana side effects for me are : munchies dont over do it! Lol. When driving I’m more focused and drive the speed limit and am only zoned into the rd I learned to ignore conversations with more then the passenger and never use my cell phone unless I pull over other wise I’m paying attetion to every sign light vehicles around and make sure I’m all good never speed I feel like I’m in a video game and its a test. Have to drive as if I was being tested and always want to win. Ok enough blabbering lol just make it legal country wide and let the plant grow where it grows and never worry about money problems drug problems the laws it should be legal to grow as do people with differant species of flowers and plants and bushes or trees they all have roots and have been on this earth far longer then anyone knows. Why a larual Busch is state of CT state plant or Busch ya know? Give marijuana the respect it has earned over the billions of years and light years it been on this planet. Its here for a reason and everyone will come to understand what are countrys problems are laws are old and I think should all be updated to a new type of system than they run now its the future we live differant unexplainably differeant just over a period of 200 years the way our world is today so much has changed. Ok off topic all in all stop the marijuana part of war on drugs legalize marijuana in north America tland focus on the dangerous drugs and experimental chemicals that are sold in a differant type of way every month in head shops and off the internet leagal drugs that can produce narcotics that are far more potent then LSD get rid of the poison and legalize the plant that can change the country to focus on drugs that kill O yea alchol on Sundays OMG really? Tell me why alcohol is even *#!?*#$ legal!? What medical purpose does it have but cirroscis of the liver deaths in the top ten worldwide. Its a killer and its provided like soda. Alcohol ruined my life and had me in the hospital loaded up on ativan blood level .4 somthing liver almost hepatitis underwhieght body shutting down. And its legal with no medical propertys but to clean a cut. Thanks for listening I’m really upset about the alcohol reminder that just swept over me :(

  7. I believe this is the first time McClintock and I agree on anything. Must be his Libertarian ideals surfacing.

  8. I have nothing against gay people at all.Not my cup of tea,to each there own. But that I can marry mr.jones next store, and that is down town middle of the road.But growing my own weed is against main stream to me is about all I can take.

  9. ParaDoc and John n FL, well put. My rep,Jaime Herrera Beutler voted No;no surprise as she’s incapable of courageous,intelligent or original independent (or scientific) thoughts,considerations and facts.
    I see that the GOP mind is so well demonstrated by Frank Wolf’s demented,ignorant and pathological ravings.
    With leaders like these,what chance does our nation have?

  10. I think it’s about time this is happening it took all these years to get someone to listen.

  11. Let’s identify the Representatives voting No who are in tight races. Then lets do everything we can to get their opponents elected.

  12. Yes Matt is right, let’s do everything to get their opponents elected, of course seeing how they feel about MPP.

  13. Looks like almost all of the Tea Party members voted NO. I don’t understand that party. What about all that intrusive government BS? Hypocrites.

  14. This is a hopeful sign but of course we all wish progress was happening more quickly. Personally I’m wondering why Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Rep. William Keating (D-MA) were the only representatives from Massachusetts who voted no to the amendment. Do they really think that was representative of their constituents? Or are they imposing their own views through their vote? Nothing is worse for a politician than forgetting they represent the public. Rep. Lynch and Rep. Keating – it’s time to open your minds and stand with your fellow Massachusetts representatives and citizens!

  15. Consider writing into the next amendment proposal the idea that not only does the Fed keep out of state-law-compliant medical cannabis affairs but also selectively honors the principle of RESPONSIBLE USE by removing all danger of prosecution against users– whether medical or inspirational– who possess and demonstrate expertise with a Dosage Regulation Utensil such as a NONCOMBUSTIVE vaporizer or a narrow-screened-crater ONE-HITTER permitting mostly vaporific 25-mg. single servings (known to you as tokes).

    P.S. your one-hitter should have a 20″/50-cm flexible extension tube (hookah-hose) attached to its butt-end giving vapors more time to cool down en route to your tender trachea. Anyone understanding and observing this principle is clearly science-based and (hygenicly) law-abiding and by rights immune to arrest alias drug enforcement.

  16. Federalist Papers
    Congress can make no law that is based on false premise
    Congress can not enact any law based upon a false premise
    Congress can not enforce any law based upon false premise
    Data Quality Act
    All federal, state, county,city must use verifiable science to enforce law based on science, DEA Control Substance Schedule 1 “No Medicinal Use” is not verifiable therefore it is illegal to enforce anti marijuana laws. Best part of Law it removes the immunity clause many enforcement agents use to protect their personnal financial assets. DQA allows plaintiff civil litigation.

    When I brought this situation up at an ACLU teach-in, it was verified my statement is truthful. check for yourself. Tie up your arresting police officer in a civil lawsuit for their violation of the DQA. Yes it can be that simple, I am not a lawyer, by all means ask these questions yourself.

  17. Thanks Carl Olsen for your hard work. ~ We need a lot more takers of a Sabbatical and out working to educate and a lot less tokers just being grumpy and being jailed where they can’t vote. ~ “No one politician can do anything that will last. “Only we the people educating the overwhelming masses can do this”” Thomas Jefferson ~

  18. El Jibaro De Lytle Creek – GREAT POST!!

    marijuana prohibition began with a BOLD FACED LIE that went unchallanged. That means the law of prohibition is based on false premise. Thus, marijuana prohibition IS NO LAW AT ALL!!!

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