US House Continues to Push Cannabis Forward

white-houseEarlier this week, the U.S. House passed several amendments aimed at scaling back federal war on cannabis and to reduce the budget of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to Marijuana.com, as part of the bill that funds the Department of Justice, the House considered the following measures:

  • An amendment to prohibit the Justice Department from spending money to interfere with state medical marijuana laws — sponsored by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Sam Farr (D-CA) — passed by a vote of 242-186. (A huge jump from last year, when the amendment won 219-189.)
     
  • An amendment to prohibit the Justice Department from spending money to interfere with state industrial hemp laws — sponsored by Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) — passed by a vote of 282-146. (A significant jump in support from last year’s vote of 235-170.)
     
  • An amendment to prohibit the Justice Department from spending money to interfere with limited state laws allowing use of CBD oil by children suffering from severe seizure disorders — sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) — passed by a vote of 297-130.
     
  • An amendment to prohibit the Justice Department from spending money to interfere with all state marijuana laws, including full legalization — sponsored by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO) — narrowly lost by a vote of 206-222.
     
  • An amendment to end the DEA’s program of collecting bulk data on American’s communications records — sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) — was approved by a voice vote.
     
  • An amendment to take $4 million out of the DEA’s budget and put it toward solving the untested rape kit backlog — sponsored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) — was approved by a voice vote.
     
  • An amendment to take $9 million out of the DEA’s budget and put it toward helping victims of child abuse and deficit reduction — sponsored by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) — was approved by a voice vote.
     
  • An amendment to take $10 million out of the DEA’s budget and put it towards funding police body cameras — sponsored by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) — was approved by a voice vote.
     
  • An amendment to take $10 million out of the DEA’s budget and put it towards legal services for poor people — sponsored by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) — lost by a voice vote.
     

While a mix of wins and losses, its great to see more progressive cannabis laws being put forward. Given, many of these bills will still need the approval of Congress and could potentially be vetoed by the President, small victories are still necessary to keep awareness going and can mean greater movement on the Federal level.

 

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