The House of Representatives voted on a flurry of pot-related amendments on Wednesday that would protect state rights to medical marijuana.
U.S. representatives approved a majority of amendments aiming to shield states’ medical cannabis rights from federal interference, the Huffington Post reports.
The most notable of the amendments was one presented by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Sam Farr (D-Calif.), which blocks both the Justice Department as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration from using federal funds to undermine state-legal medical marijuana. The same amendment passed in the House last year, but its vote needed to be renewed as part of the annual funding bill.
“Our founding fathers didn’t want criminal justice to be handled by the federal government,” Rohrabacher said during the debate. “This is absolutely absurd that the federal government is going to mandate all these things even though the people of the states and many doctors would like to have the right to prescribe to their patients what they think will alleviate their suffering. This is states’ rights issue. Our founding fathers didn’t want a police force that can bust down people’s doors. They wanted individual freedom.”
A similar amendment was passed to protect states that have legalized the limited use of cannabis oil extracts, while another approved amendment protects state rights to cultivate industrial hemp.
“Votes in support of rolling back the federal government’s war on medical marijuana are beginning to become routine,” said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement. “Last year, passing this amendment was unprecedented. This year, it was predictable. Medical marijuana has gone from ‘controversial’ to ‘conventional’ on Capitol Hill.”