Earlier this week, Representatives from California and New York proposed a bill that would cut federal funding for medical marijuana collective raids in states where medical marijuana has been legalized. The bill was defeated in the House with a vote of 262 against the bill to 163 in favor of the bill.
Over 70% of Democrats in the House, but less than 12% of the Republicans in the House, voted in favor of the bill.
In his statement to the House on Wednesday, Representative Sam Farr pleaded for states’ rights and compassion for patients. He stated, “If states’ rights aren’t a good enough reason to pass this amendment, do it because of compassion. Compassion demands it. We offer this amendment for terminally ill cancer patients, for AIDS victims, for persons who suffer chronic pain. We offer this amendment not only to protect those people, but we offer this amendment to protect the states that are progressive enough to provide alternative medical options to those who need it.”
The text of the failed bill read:
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.
The proposal of this bill came during an especially tumultuous time for medical marijuana states. Crackdowns in California and Colorado have forced many collectives to close. Each shutdown operation by the DEA costs thousands of federally funded dollars in time and manpower, only to close down businesses that were approved by voters in each state. While the bill failed in the House, it is still notable that politicians are beginning to bring awareness to the injustices being brought upon the medical marijuana states by the federal government.