With a 242 to 186 vote, the United States House of Representatives has approved an amendment to a federal spending bill that would prevent the federal government from interfering with state-sanctioned medical cannabis programs.
The amendment, introduced by Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Sam Farr (D-CA), was added to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. It explicitly prohibits the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from using any funding to interfere in the implementation of laws legalizing medical cannabis at the state-level.
A similar amendment was added to a separate federal spending bill passed by lawmakers in December, though that provision is set to expire later this year, making this new amendment necessary.
The House narrowly voted down a broader amendment that would prevent the government from interfering with any state-sanctioned cannabis legalization program, not just medical cannabis. The vote was 206 to 222.