President Obama’s recent reversal on his medical marijuana policy and the actions to attack medical marijuana growers and dispensaries in multiple states has made many in the MMJ industry feeling helpless. While their state says it is legal for them grow and sell weed for medical purposes, federal agents are arresting people and closing down shops despite the fact that the President had indicated that this would not be a priority for the government. Now, a few members of Congress are doing something about it.
Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) have teamed up to attempt to cut off funding for the government’s seeming war against medical marijuana. The proposed bipartisan legislation would prohibit the use of federal funds to interfere with state pot laws. This will be part of a larger debate on H.R. 5326, which discusses the budget of the Department of Justice.
The language of the amendment is as follows:
None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.
Farr spoke with The Huffington Post and had this to say about what he is trying to do:
Patients suffering from painful and serious illnesses are following the recommendations of their doctors by using medical cannabis to minimize their pain and support their recovery. It is time for the federal government to stop targeting the legal vendors that are providing safe access to this treatment, and instead focus limited resources on those who sell illicit drugs. The amendment I will offer with my colleagues will work to assure funds under the Department of Justice do not target the safe access to treatment patients need.
Word is that this amendment could come up for debate as early as Tuesday. Hopefully, this is the first step to ending the federal crackdown on medical marijuana.
Is ending funding for the war on pot the best way to fight this current trend?