In addition to cutting the DEA’s budget and protecting state medical cannabis laws, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment to a federal appropriations bill that would prevent the government from interfering with state-sanctioned laws that allow for the cultivation of industrial hemp. The vote was 282 to 146.
The amendment, which was added to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, was introduced by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Thomas Massie (R-KY). A similar provision was passed by Congress last year, though that amendment only applied to hemp being cultivated for research purposes.
Yesterday the House voted to cut the DEA’s budget by $23 million, relocating the money to fighting child abuse, processing rape test kits, reducing the deficit, and paying for body cameras on police officers to reduce law enforcement abuses. Today, the House, as part of the same bill, approved an amendment explicitly preventing the Department of Justice, which includes the DEA, from interfering with the implementation of state-level medical cannabis laws.