The U.S. House Rules Committee moved on Wednesday evening to block floor consideration of an amendment to continue an existing rider preventing the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana laws.
The committee has repeatedly blocked cannabis amendments on recent spending bills, most recently in July when it ruled that a measure to allow military veterans to receive medical marijuana recommendations from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doctors was not in order.
The issues aren’t dead yet, as the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee added both the state medical cannabis protections and the veterans rider to its versions of spending bills this year. The matters will likely be resolved by a House-Senate conference committee that later merges the two chambers’ bills together.
Tom Angell, founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority, released the following statement:
“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. Forty-six states now allow some form of medical marijuana and polls consistently show that more than 90% 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.”
The medical cannabis amendment was sponsored by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and a bipartisan group of 12 other members.
Background information on the rider, including past vote tallies, is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/
The Rules Committee on Wednesday also blocked floor consideration of a number of other cannabis amendments, including ones dealing with scientific research, protecting state full legalization laws, hemp and Washington, D.C.’s ability to spend its own money on regulating marijuana sales: https://rules.house.
Current federal funding levels, along with policy provisions including the state medical cannabis protections, are set to expire on September 30. It is likely that Congress will enact a short-term extension through December 15 while it works on finalizing full Fiscal Year 2018 funding legislation.
Marijuana Majority is dedicated to making sure the media, politicians and government officials treat marijuana as a serious issue that is important to a growing majority of Americans.