U.S. House Votes To Protect Legal Marijuana States From Federal Interventions
Below is a press release from NORML containing breaking news:
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-
Similar language was passed by the House last year, yet the provision was stripped out of the final appropriations package in the conference committee.
NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of marijuana by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use marijuana responsibly are no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for marijuana-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.