A congressional committee blocked debate on an amendment barring the government from contradicting state marijuana laws, opening them up to federal interference.
The decision from the Republican-controlled House Rules Committee is reviving fears among marijuana advocates that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will seek to crack down on legalization laws at the state level. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has long expressed his opposition to legal weed and recently attempted to dismantle local marijuana protections.
The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which originally passed in 2014, prevents the DOJ from using federal funds to prosecute individuals in states with medical legalization.
“Opposing seriously ill patients’ access to medical cannabis is sick enough, but blocking the people’s representatives from even being able to vote on the matter is just obscene,” Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Forty-six states now allow some form of medical marijuana and polls consistently show that more than 90 percent of voters support the issue, but a small handful of Congressional ‘leaders’ decided behind closed doors to kill this amendment without due consideration. Marijuana reform opponents know that the only way they can impede our progress is by using dirty legislative tricks. But they won’t be able to do this without people noticing.” (Steve Birr)