The United States House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis (marijuana) amendment to the Commerce, Science, and Justice (CJS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015 by a margin of 242 to 186. The Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment bans the Department of Justice from spending money to prevent the implementation of state-level medical cannabis programs, removing funding for federal medical cannabis raids, arrests and prosecutions in states where medical cannabis is legal. With the addition of seven states in the last year the Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment now covers 39 states and protects access to medical cannabis programs for 275 million citizens in those states.
“The Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment offers crucial protection for medical cannabis patients and the people that provide them with access to much needed medicine,” said Steph Sherer Americans for Safe Access Executive Director. “Having reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to not interfere with state medical cannabis programs it’s now time to move forward and create a framework for federal and state cooperation in medical cannabis by passing the CARERS Act.”
Last year the House of Representatives passed the Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment by a margin of 219-189 with a strong bipartisan show of support. Lead by the support of Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) the Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment remained in the CRomnibus bill that President Obama signed into law. Its passage marked the first time Congress approved a medical cannabis reform since designating cannabis in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Today approximately 2.4 million Americans currently utilize medical cannabis programs.
“With the recent addition of Texas the vast majority of the country is now living in a state with at least some legal use of medical cannabis,” said Mike Liszewski Americans for Safe Access Government Affairs Director. “This vote shows the growing recognition that the only responsible course of action is for the federal government to leave state medical cannabis programs alone and let them provide their citizens with this much needed medical option.”
The Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment was co-sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of six Republicans and six Democratic members including Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Joe Heck (R-NV), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Don Young (R-AK) Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV).