U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Protect State-Level Medical Cannabis Laws

medical-marijuana-symbolIn a huge victory for cannabis law reform, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted today to approve an amendment to a federal spending bill offered by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) that would protect state medical cannabis laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vote was 20 to 10.

The amendment mirrors one that passed the full House of Representatives last week with a 242 to 186 vote.

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DEA Administrator Chief Michele Leonhart Expected to Resign

By Drug Policy Alliance

Michele Leonhart (Photo: Reuters).
Michele Leonhart (Photo: Reuters).

Resignation Comes as DEA at Center of Series of Scandals in its Effort to Continue Failed War on Drugs

After Decades of Mass Incarceration, Racial Disparities, and Failed Drug Policies, DEA Finally Facing Scrutiny

New DPA Issue Brief Released Today: The Scandal-Ridden DEA: Everything You Need to Know

A senior White House official has said that the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart, is expected to resign soon. The news comes as no surprise to drug policy reformers who say her opposition to reform made her out of step with the Obama Administration.

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DNC Chair Offers to Support Medical Cannabis if Donor Retracts Negative Comments, Donor Refuses

Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office offered to officialy change her position on medical cannabis and endorse an initiative to legalize the medicine in Florida if a major donor and former Obama fundraiser recanted his criticism of her, according to emails obtained by POLITICO.

“The proposal to Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan was straightforward: retract critical statements he made to a reporter in return for Wasserman Schultz publicly backing his cannabis initiative that she had trashed just months earlier” says POLITICO’s Marc Caputo. “Morgan declined the offer with a sharp email reply sent to a go-between, who described the congresswoman as being in a “tizzy.”

Read moreDNC Chair Offers to Support Medical Cannabis if Donor Retracts Negative Comments, Donor Refuses