U.S. House votes to defund DEA medical marijuana raids in Colorado, other MMJ states

Categories: Marijuana

dea.marijuana.raid.565x300.jpg
A photo from a previous DEA marijuana raid in Denver.
Over the years, marijuana activists have frequently talked about the tipping point -- the moment at which so many states have legalized pot that the federal government is forced to change its policies in regard to a substance still considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

In years to come, historians may look at what happened last night as an important step in that direction. The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund DEA medical marijuana raids in states, including Colorado, where MMJ is legal.

The vote came in conjunction with H.R. 4660, a massive appropriations bill for "the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 15, 2015," according to the version of the bill on view below.

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Representative Dana Rohrabacher.
Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, proposed an amendment to the measure that reads like so:
AMENDMENT TO H.R. 4660, AS REPORTED (CJS APPROPRIATIONS) OFFERED BY MR. ROHRABACHER OF CALIFORNIA

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:

SEC. ll. None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

Other measures like this one have been introduced in the past, but none have ever gotten close to passage. According to the Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell, the previous high-water mark was 165 votes in favor way back in 2007.

This time around, however, the House passed the amendment 219 to 189 -- a margin that leaves Angell happily startled, as is clear in an e-mail statement to Westword shared late last night.

"This historic vote shows just how quickly marijuana reform has become a mainstream issue," Angell writes. "The last time a similar amendment came up it didn't come very close to passing but, since then, more states have passed medical marijuana laws and a couple have even legalized marijuana for all adults. More states are on the way later this year and in 2016, and it's clear that more politicians are beginning to realize that the American people want the federal government to stop standing in the way. If any political observers weren't aware that the end of the war on marijuana is nearing, they just found out."

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Charlotte Figi as seen in CNN coverage.
One factor for increasing support cited by Angell: the attention garnered by parents of children using low THC/high CBD forms of marijuana to treat children suffering from severe seizure disorders. Last year, as we've reported, Charlotte Figi, a Colorado child diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, an uncommon, and serious, form of epilepsy, became a poster child for this movement when CNN's Sanjay Gupta featured her story in reports about how he changed his mind about the medical efficacy of cannabis. Since then, an increasing number of families whose children are afflicted with similar conditions have moved to Colorado in order to gain access to this treatment.

"This year's huge vote increase can largely be attributed to the fact that lawmakers only recently began hearing the moving stories of the many children whose severe seizures are only relieved by marijuana," Angell notes. "Being able to list these CBD states in the amendment text meant that more members of Congress that represent these states voted yes than otherwise would have. Counting these states, 60 percent of the U.S. population lives in a place where state law disagrees with federal law."

Other advocates are similarly jazzed by last night's vote.

Continue for more about last night's historic vote, including an original document and a video.



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85 comments
KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

But they can still used seized $$$ to prosecute anyone they want....

sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333

the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

ENLIGHTENMENT...i was a brainwashed, evil, mean, christian conservative until i tried it at 17 years old...i hated gays, immigrants, women's rights, blacks, i was Rush Limbaugh's #1 fan....until i smoked marijuana....changed my life...took me 1 year/senior year to legalize it in cali...planned on the globe

1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...

"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
Deaths by Tobacco: Millions
Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

love and freedom forever

AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33 

webmaster245
webmaster245

I've actively followed politics for over 40 years, and my prognostications have been pretty good.

Rob Jennings
Rob Jennings

Republicans passed it in the House and Democrats will defeat it in the Senate.

Ken Tschappat
Ken Tschappat

Instead, make drugs not illegal? Instead of spending billions busting people, give addiction recovery, and drug awareness training.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

                *** More Peaceful Potheads ***


5/30/14 -- Boulder police arrested a 27-year-old woman on suspicion of assaulting another woman who was taking pictures of people smoking marijuana behind Boulder High School on Thursday.


According to police, the victim told officers she was walking on the bridge over Boulder Creek behind Boulder High School when she smelled marijuana and decided to take pictures of the people smoking.


This apparently angered the people who were smoking, and one of them ran up behind the woman and punched her in the face, police said.


The victim told police that the woman who assaulted her and another woman continued to argue with her for several minutes, and the woman hit her several more times in the back of the head, police said.


A Fox 31 cameraman was in the area filming high water levels on Boulder Creek and had footage of the assault, police said.


Boulder police arrested Melissa Sharp, 27, on suspicion of third-degree assault, second-degree assault, resisting arrest and obstruction.


Boulder police said Sharp was combative with officers and spit on the side window of the patrol car and banged her head on the rear monitor. Officers placed a spit sock and hobble on Sharp.


Sharp remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail, where she is being held on $7,500 bond. She is scheduled to return to court Tuesday to be formally charged.

Another woman, whom police did not name, was issued a summons for harassment, and police are looking for a third suspect in the incident.




webmaster245
webmaster245

@donkeyhotay: Unlikely to be killed in the Senate. The Democratic base is even more supportive. Obama has made it clear that he expects Congress to take the lead in modifying the law. Chance of passage >80%. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Complete bullshit. 


This has ZERO chance of surviving into law.


ZERO.



Curt Stewart
Curt Stewart

They're wayyyyyyy behind the public on this issue. Only about 10-15 years late.

lsc9x2
lsc9x2

Guys, the bill we REALLY need to support is HR1523.  It's called the "Respect States Marijuana Laws Act" 2013-2014:  It reads (in relation to the National Drug and Crime Act of 1970, aka The Controlled Substances Act) this:


``SEC. 710. RULE REGARDING APPLICATION TO MARIHUANA. ``Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.''.

That's it!  That's the law's text.  This bill would END any intervention related to pot in states that have legalized the drug.  PERIOD!

However, it NEEDS your support.  Please consider writing to your congresspeople and senators that we really want this law passed.

Thank you!

Here's the links: 


http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/1523/text


http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Hot.Sauce
Hot.Sauce

Still doesn't legalize marijuana.

Not even close.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@webmaster245 ... because 40 years ago, in the 1970's, you predicted and prognosticated that it would take 40 years before Colorado decriminlaized a single pathetic ounce, and three pathetic flowering plants, leaving ALL FELONY marijuana statutes in full force against everyone else, eh?


Yeah, you're a political geeeeeneeeeussss!


sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333

for every 1 republican that voted for this, 3.5 voted against....lol

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... you sound like Charlie Sheen on crack.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@webmaster245 ... sounds like the same politically clueless projections made by fools who said Proposition AA would fail.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@lsc9x2 "the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws "


So the FEDS can -- and will -- continue to target and prosecute ANY individual in Colorado who:


1. grows 4 or more flowering plants

2. possesses more than 1 pathetic ounce recreationally

3. is under 21 years old with any quantity of rec. pot

4. engages in ANY sales between consenting adults, even a single gram

5. sprouts more than 6 seeds

6. possesses more than 2 pathetic ounces medically

7. is located in ANY of the DOZENS of Cities and Counties that have banned or restricted private caregivers / patients / users from growing their own sustainable supplies.

8. transports even a gram across state lines



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... for a lawyer, you're rather naive.


This "symbolic" amendment will NEVER make it into law.


Potential clients take note.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@sweetcookies3333 ... which makes it all the more absurd when butt-hurt naive stoners start yammering to remove Obama, or Frackenlooper, from office.


As if MORMON Mitt Romney or any other Rethuglycan would have a kinder, gentler drug policy toward recreational pot.


LOL!


Stoners + Political Ignorance = Habitual Fail

bigbreasts40dd
bigbreasts40dd

Are you douching your veejay properly, it smells like fish in here ....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@420angels ... looking at the auction photos of their broke-down equipment and low-rent setups, it's hard to believe they were the multi-bazillionaire marijuana magnates so often hyped in the media.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@420angels ... Proposition AA ?


ROTFLMAO !! ... REGULATION WORKS! ... with MASSIVE TAXES added for FUN!



bigbreasts40dd
bigbreasts40dd

Can you stick both hands up your butt at the same time?

bigbreasts40dd
bigbreasts40dd

How many fingers have you had in your derriere at the same time?

Mm10
Mm10

@DonkeyHotay & for an asshole you spew a great deal of shit; enough for 2 assholes. Get a life & stop harassing people, you fucking prick.

bigbreasts40dd
bigbreasts40dd

Does your mother give you better head than your father?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@webmaster245


@webmaster245


@webmaster245 ... it's one small amendment to a GIANT APPROPRIATIONS Bill -- one of many "bargaining chips" that both sides of the political spectrum toss into that sausage grinder of politics ... a chip that will be readily removed and tossed aside in exchange for something more politically valuable when the time comes.


The entire bill will NOT pass in its current form, and many amendments to it will be modified or removed before it passes, or fails altogether.


Do note, this was NOT a "stand alone bill" to de-fund DEA / DOJ prosecutions of marijuana, it's a superfluous amendment to a more important, larger bill.


The only reason some Rethuglykkkans voted for it, is for crass political calculations that certain naive stoners would believe they support pot -- and ignorantly vote for them / their party in the future -- while still retaining their kkkonservative voting base because they know this amendment will never survive the bill into law.


Now tell us again how Proposition AA -- massive taxes on your precious pot -- would NEVER pass ... LOL! LOL!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@420angels <== stay ignorant, stoner. It's your best skill.


Feds Prosecute Medical Marijuana Patients While Tolerating Commercial Cannabis — All In The Same City


Sean Green grows marijuana at 1919 East Francis Avenue in Spokane, about six miles from the courthouse where the federal government plans to try Larry Harvey, a 70-year-old retired truck driver, for growing marijuana. Green’s operation is a lot bigger than Harvey’s: up to 21,000 square feet of plant canopy, compared to the 45 plants that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) found on Harvey’s property in a rural area of northeastern Washington about 10 miles from Kettle Falls. 

The difference in scale makes sense, because Green is growing pot for Washington’s newly legal recreational market, while Harvey and four other medical marijuana users were growing it for their own consumption. Both kinds of cultivation are allowed under Washington law, and both are prohibited under federal law. 


Yet Green’s future as a 
cannabis entrepreneur looks bright, while Harvey and his co-defendants face prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2014/05/15/feds-prosecute-medical-marijuana-patients-while-tolerating-commercial-cannabisall-in-the-same-city/

webmaster245
webmaster245

@DonkeyHotay @webmaster245 Thank you for  an informative response. I understand the horse-trading that goes on in the process of creating law, and I agree that at least under normal circumstances, such an amendment would stand little chance of survival. Clearly, what is occurring around the country is outside of what is considered "normal".  Your last point regarding prop AA, is a straw man.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@webmaster245 "Clearly, what is occurring around the country is outside of what is considered "normal"."


Only to clueless politically deluded stoners who aren't paying attention to the details.



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