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U.S.: House Voting On Amendment To Stop Federal Medical Marijuana Raids

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More Than Half of All States Have Some Kind of Medical Marijuana Law

Support for Changing Federal Law at Unprecedented Level in Congress

As early as this Thursday the U.S. House could vote on a bipartisan amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill that would prohibit the federal government from wasting taxpayer money interfering with state medical marijuana laws. The amendment is being offered by five Republicans and five Democrats.

A vote several weeks ago on allowing Veterans Administration doctors discuss medical marijuana with their patients received 195 yes votes. Support for letting states set their own marijuana policy without federal interference is rising quickly.

“This vote is about letting states help their citizens without interference from out-of-control federal agencies,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Members of Congress have an opportunity to both protect the patient/doctor relationship and save taxpayer money.

"No person should have to fear being arrested for following the advice of their doctor,” Piper said.

The amendment is being sponsored by Reps. Rohrabacher (R-CA), Farr (D-CA), Young (R-AK), Blumenauer (D-WA), McClintock (R-CA), Cohen (D-TN), Broun (R-GA), Polis (D-CO), Stockman (R-TX), and Lee (D-CA).

U.S.: House To Vote Again On Amendment To Defund Marijuana Raids

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Democratic Rep. Sam Farr, both of California, are once again offering a bipartisan amendment on the House floor to protect states' rights when it comes to marijuana.

Rohrabacher and Farr have brought up the amendment several times, most recently in 2012, when it was defeated 162-262, reports Emily Ethridge at Roll Call. Since that vote, four more staters -- Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maryland -- have allowed medical marijuana, bringing the total to 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Advocates expect the strongest vote yet when the fiscal 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations measure, HR 4660, comes to the House floor in a few weeks.

The chief provision of the amendment which will be offered to the appropriations bill would prohibit the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers who are in compliance with their state laws.

The House has already voted on similar amendments six times since 2003, with about 150 to 160 votes in support each time. An unusual coalition of social liberals, who see it as a civil rights issue, and conservatives, who see it as a states' rights issue, back the amendment.

U.S.: Nearly 200 Members of Congress Tell V.A. To Let Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana

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Amendment would have prohibited VA from spending federal funds to prevent its doctors from recommending medical marijuana to veterans suffering from debilitating conditions

Nearly 200 members of Congress, including 22 Republicans, on Wednesday voted in favor of an amendment intended to allow physicians within the Veterans Affairs system to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states that allow it. The bipartisan-sponsored amendment failed 195-222.

H.R. 4486, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, would have prohibited the VA from spending federal funds implementing a directive that prevents doctors from recommending medical marijuana to veterans suffering from debilitating conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A Veterans Health Administration directive issued in 2011 forbids VA medical providers from signing forms that would allow veterans to obtain marijuana in accordance with state medical marijuana programs.

The amendment, sponsored by Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Sam Farr (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO), was the first of its kind to be introduced on the House floor.

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