Reflecting growing national acceptance of cannabis, a bipartisan coalition of House members voted early Friday to restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds to go after medical marijuana operations that are legal under state laws.
An appropriations amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) prohibiting the DEA from spending funds to arrest state-licensed medical marijuana patients and providers passed 219-189. The Senate will likely consider its own appropriations bill for the DEA, and the House amendment would have to survive a joint conference before it could go into effect.
Rohrabacher said on the House floor that the amendment "should be a no-brainer" for conservatives who support states' rights and argued passionately against allowing the federal government to interfere with a doctor-patient relationship.
"Some people are suffering, and if a doctor feels that he needs to prescribe something to alleviate that suffering, it is immoral for this government to get in the way," Rohrabacher said, his voice rising. "And that's what's happening."
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New York State voters support 88 - 9 percent the legalization of medical marijuana, with overwhelming support from every group, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Read it here.
Frees Drug Czar to Study Medicinal Pot
Cohen said his legislation, known as the Unmuzzle the Drug Czar Act, would give the office "the freedom to use science, not ideology" in its recommendations and would give the American people "a reason to trust what they are told."
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Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.