Wednesday, June 4, 2014

House votes to end war on medical marijuana



June 4, 2014 at 3:36pm
WHO:     U.S. House of Representatives
WHAT:   Voted to stop funding the war on states with medical marijuana programs
WHEN:   May 30, 2014
WHERE: U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C.
WHY:      To respect the traditional right of states to determine the practice of medicine 

In the U.S. Congress last week the House of Representatives voted to stop funding the federal war on medical marijuana programs.  Jay Lassiter, a participant in New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program said, “I’m happy to see this vote play out in Congress. It's a long-overdue discussion.”

Since 1996, twenty one states and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana laws.  The federal government, however, considers marijuana a Schedule I substance with no accepted medical uses.  The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has ruled that the federal government is within its powers to enforce its laws against marijuana even in states that have medical marijuana programs.  At the same time, the SCOTUS has not invalidated any of the medical marijuana laws, and has said that physicians cannot be penalized for recommending marijuana for their patients.

On Friday, May 30 the House voted 219-189 in favor of the Rorhabacher-Farr Amendment to the government’s appropriations bill.  This amendment prohibits the use of funds to the Justice Department, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), if those funds “prevent certain States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”  The vote saw more support from Democrats than from Republicans as 170 Democrats and 49 Republicans voted yes, while 17 Democrats and 172 Republicans voted no on the amendment.  New Jersey’s representatives voted as follows:
Democrats – Holt, Y; Pallone, Y; Pascrell, Y; Payne, Y; Sires, Y.
Republicans – Frelinghuysen, N; Garrett, Y; Lance, N; LoBiondo, Y; Runyan, Y; Smith, N.

Now the measure must go to the U.S. Senate.  While the Senate is controlled by Democrats, no measure to protect medical marijuana patients or programs has yet been introduced in the Senate.  If and when the measure passes in the Senate, it will have to be signed into law by President Obama.

For more information, see: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/113-2014/h258

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Ave., Trenton, NJ  08618 www.cmmnj.org   ohamkrw@aol.com 609.394.2137

Jay Lassiter, Lassiter Consulting, http://www.jlassiter.com/  Cell - 856.236.7199

4 comments:

  1. I don't this so this war gonna end so soon. Politician and big powers with different thinking want everything as per their wish.

    I think there should a mass debate politicians VS Public.
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  2. Individuals deserve the right to decide whether or not they should use marijuana. The government should not tell individuals what to do as long as they do not harm others. Thanks.
    Paul D. Mitchell

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  3. With the help of United for Care, attorney John Morgan has become the face of a statewide, grass-roots initiative to get the vote to legalize medical marijuana added to Florida’s 2014 general election ballot. If statistics are an accurate indicator, Florida may be the next state in line to legalize and regulate medical marijuana, following in the footsteps of 19 other states that have allowed patients suffering from serious medical conditions to benefit from the plant’s pain relieving powers. Thanks.
    Adam L

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