Lawmakers on Wednesday said GOP leadership will not allow a full house vote on an amendment barring the Department of Justice from “pursuing” medical marijuana states. The amendment was authored by California (R) Dana Rohrabacher.
“That’s what we’re doing now, we’re avoiding the issue,” California (R) Duncan Hunter chimed in to cameras directly after the House GOP shot down the vote to protect medical marijuana states from persecution.
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With no legislation in place, states that have legalized for medicinal use will no longer enjoy the protection they’ve had in place for the last four years. Without any protection in place, it could also give Jeff Sessions the push he’s been waiting for with bated breath to come down hard on the ever-expanding marijuana landscape.
In a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, Rohrabacher beseeched his colleagues to allow a vote on his amendment, knowing the damage that could ensue without it. Hunter said that after Rohrabacher made his pleas, they ultimately couldn’t bring it to the floor because it just, “splits the conference too much.”
It could be that it splits the conference or it could be that it would pass, an even scarier prospect for some House Republicans. The amendment has bipartisan support and merely continues the protections that we as a country are used to when it comes to legal medicinal cannabis states.
Rohrabacher had started his urgent messaging Tuesday night, practically begging his colleagues to vote. He said that without his amendment, “we’re changing the status quo in a way that undermines the rights of the states and the people … to make their policy.”
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Rohrabacher’s amendment was co-sponsored by Oregon (D) Earl Blumenauer and was included in the four preceding Commerce-Justice-Science funding measures, back when it was an Obama White House. It was also included in a Trump omnibus funding bill that expires at the end of the month.
Soon, the amendment will have vanished and we’ll have to pin our hopes on the continued bravery of people like Rohrabacher and Blumenauer to do their best to protect our rights.