U.S. House of Representatives Continues the War on Drugs
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/14/2012 in Marijuana Politics
A bipartisan measure that would have been responsible for eliminating the funding of federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where it is legal, failed on Wednesday in the House of Representatives. The legislation introduced by representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Tom McClintock, Sam Farr and Maurice Hinchey, was part of an appropriations bill to fund the Department of Justice for the fiscal year 2013. The bill was being considered Wednesday before failing on a voice vote later that evening. A roll call vote was postponed until after press time.
This bill comes into play after the Obama administration unleashing a massive crackdown on the medical cannabis industry, with raids being conducted on marijuana dispensaries mainly located in California. Many of these Californian collectives are operating within full compliance of state law.
Since October of 2009, The Department of Justice has conducted over one-hundred and seventy aggressive SWAT-styled raids in nine medical-marijuana states. These raids have resulted in nearly sixty-one federal indictments, according to data that has been compiled by Americans for Safe Access, a pro-marijuana advocacy group. Federal law claims that any use of marijuana is illegal, despite being legal under laws in seventeen states and the District of Columbia.
The House heard from many representatives in favor of the amendment, but the most notable opposition came from committee Chairman Frank Wolf, a republican from Virginia.
More than seventy percent of the one-hundred and ninety Democrats in the House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill, but out of the two-hundred and forty-two House Republicans, less than twelve percent voted in favor. The final vote of the bill turned out to be 262-163.
Democrat from California, Sam Farr, said in his statement on the House floor, “If state’s rights aren’t a good enough reason to pass this amendment, do it because of compassion. Compassion demands it.” Farr also added, “We offer this amendment for terminal 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 political objective behind the Obama administration’s crackdown on medical cannabis is unclear, but what is certain is that the opposition is broad and cuts across party lines. The Obama administration may have secured a victory on Wednesday night, but every victory there comes a cost.