Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) and Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) reintroduced the Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act. The bill would restrict civil asset forfeiture funds from being used for the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication / Suppression Program. The bill would prohibit the transfer of property that would be used for cannabis eradication from a federal or state/local agency and ensures precious federal resources are not wasted on marijuana eradication. Reps. Lieu and Amash introduced a version of this bill during the 114th Congress.
Upon introduction, Rep. Lieu said:
“The Federal Government has a responsibility to spend taxpayer money wisely. Instead, AG Jeff Sessions would rather waste federal dollars by attacking marijuana, which has been legalized either for medical or recreational use in the majority of states in the U.S. The DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program is a waste of time and money and runs contrary to the will of the people.”
Upon introduction, Rep. Amash said:
Civil asset forfeiture is an unconstitutional practice whereby the government takes people’s property without due process. The DEA’s use of proceeds acquired through civil asset forfeiture to expand marijuana enforcement—a state-level issue—makes the already unacceptable practice even worse. I’m pleased to introduce the Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act along with Rep. Lieu to end this program.
Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director:
“Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition. With eight states and the District of Columbia now having legalized its personal use and 30 states having legalized medical marijuana, it is time that the DEA cease interfering with state-legal programs and stop wasting taxpayer dollars that would be better directed at going after the pill-mills contributing to the nations opioid crisis.”
Don Murphy, Director of Conservative Outreach Marijuana Policy Project:
“The drug war is not just a war on liberty but a war on property as well. Representatives Lieu and Amash understand that removing financial incentives is part of the answer to uneven enforcement and will hasten an end to this unjust and lost war. Lieu and Amash are to be commended for their bipartisan approach and MPP encourages a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee on this legislation and looks forward to working for its swift passage.”
Theshia Naidoo, Office of Legal Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance
“Reforms to the asset forfeiture program are long overdue, and the legislation introduced by Representatives Lieu and Amash provides a much needed check on the system. At a time when 29 states have authorized medical marijuana and 8 states have fully legalized marijuana, proceeds from asset forfeiture should not go to a program which interferes with state sovereignty and is directly opposed by the majority of Americans.”