Lawmakers Tell Attorney General to Stop Prosecuting Medical Cannabis Cases
Representatives Sam Far (D-Calif) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder today “insisting that he stop the federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients and providers in states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana”. According to a press release; “The letter was sent in response to recent statements by the DOJ that it would proceed with medical marijuana cases despite legislation passed by Congress that strictly prohibits federal funds from being used for medical marijuana prosecutions.”
“No reasonable person would agree with the Department’s interpretation of the amendment,” says Representative Farr. “The DOJ can try to parse its wording but Congress was perfectly clear: Stop wasting limited funds attacking medical marijuana patients.”
Congress passed the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment to a national spending bill that prohibits the use of federal funds to prosecute medical cannabis patients or providers that are operating legally under state laws. The bipartisan amendment passed the House last May and was included in the omnibus spending bill that passed Congress in December.
“The continuing prosecution of these cases,” says Representative Rohrabacher, “represents a clear defiance of the will of the people, as represented by the United States Congress. Good people, as a result, are victimized by their own government.”
Despite Congress’s clear intent, the DOJ has moved forward on several medical cannabis cases including the Kettle Falls Five case in Washington and cases involving several dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay area. In a recent statement, DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said the amendment doesn’t apply to cases against individuals or organizations, but merely stops the Department from “impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws.”
In response, the letter stated, “As the authors of the provision in question, we write to inform you that this interpretation of our amendment is emphatically wrong.”
A copy of the letter can be found by clicking here.