The U.S. House and Rules Committee blocked an amendment for medical marijuana protections from the House’s 2018 budget bill. And, all who love and imbibe the herb have reason to think the fed’s are trying to take away your weed.
In 2014 Congress passed the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, prohibiting the U.S. Department of Justice from spending federal dollars to enforce the federal prohibition laws in states where medical marijuana has been legalized — now 29 states plus the District of Columbia.
Guess what? That very important amendment is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2017. The amendment introduced in the House budget plan by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) would similarly prevent the Justice Department from using federal funds to target medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal.
Most Americans accept marijuana as medicine and don’t have issue with it being legal. Yet, it is still illegal and the feds believe the herb belongs in the same category as heroin and LSD.
As it stands now the amendment is dead. It was voted “out of order” at Thursday’s hearing. Rohrabacher and Blumenauer said in a statement that blocking the vote puts millions of patients relying on medical marijuana treatment at risk, and that the decision goes against the will of the American people. “There’s no question: If a vote were allowed, our amendment would pass on the House floor, as it has several times before,” the statement read.
Marijuana Policy Project’s director of conservative outreach Don Murphy said the below in a statement, “When an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose federal interference in state medical marijuana programs, it is unconscionable not to let their Representatives vote on whether to continue this policy”.
There is a ray of light from Vermont, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), one of our favorite pot loving Senators, introduced a similar amendment to the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer in the Senate’s budget bill. That amendment was approved in a committee vote in July.
“Unless Congress chooses the Senate budget version, millions of seriously ill patients and the legitimate businesses that provide them with safe access to their medicine will be at risk of prosecution,” Murphy said in a statement. “This vote is a slap in the face of patients, their families, their elected representatives, and the 10th Amendment.”