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.

Specifically, the Mikulski amendment states that;

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, or with respect to either the District of Columbia or Guam, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

“What we’re witnessing today are the death throes of the federal government’s war on medical marijuana,” says Michael Collins, Policy Manager at Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “Last week the House sent a resounding message to the DEA and DOJ – stop the interference and let states legalize medical marijuana. Today, the Senate echoed that message.”

Less than a month ago, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the bipartisan Daines-Merkley amendment allowing Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical cannabis to their patients in states where medical cannabis is legal.

“There is huge momentum in the Senate on the issue of marijuana reform”, says Bill Piper, Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “We now have the votes in the House and Senate to legalize medical marijuana, and leadership in both chambers should allow bills like the CARERS Act to move forward”.


4 thoughts on “U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Protect State-Level Medical Cannabis Laws”

  1. Strange how rec. legalization in WA. State became the true “Trojan Horse” they always laid on MMJ’ doorstep that killed off my States 1998 medical marijuana law.. I went from being pro legalization to doing everything legally in my power to stop the spread of the 1%’s latest hobby, owning/ growing for a WA. state cartel recreational marijuana store. The lawsuit’s announced last week will hopefully kill SB5052

  2. yes, of course this happens one day after WA.State Republican Neanderthals ramp up their decades long war to further kill off anything relating to medical. Voting matters but Washington’s 18-29 year old youth failed us all. They will soon turn WA.. as Red as Alabama with their ignorance and apathy.

  3. When will congress act on the violation of our constitution? According to the U.S. constitution when 2/3’s of the states have something legal ( alcohol for example in 1930’s was illegal) when 2/3’s of the states LEGALIZED it then the Feds HAD TO LIFT prohibition. According to the article above I count 40 states, Washington D.C., and Guam are legalized for medical cannabis in 1 form or another. Feds must re-schedule medical cannabis and make it legal federally and for Drs. to recommend it for their patients who will benefit from medical cannabis. If the Rep majority won’t do it the in 2016 we need the Demo majority back in congress and whitehouse.

  4. we need the names of the 10 nay voters so they can be replaced in 2016. We the people are tired of the politicians NOT doing what the majority of voters (who put them in office). Also congress STOP interferring in the legalization process in D.C. where over 70% of the voters voted to legalize. Hopefully the we the people will make congress Democrat majority in 2016.


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