Eric Holder drug policy reform marijuana
Medical Marijuana Policy

Federal Representatives Tell Attorney General To Stop Prosecuting Medical Marijuana Cases

Eric Holder drug policy reform marijuanaReps. Sam Farr, D-Calif., and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder today insisting that he stop the federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients and providers in states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana. The letter was sent in response to recent statements by the DOJ that it would proceed with medical marijuana cases despite legislation passed by Congress that strictly prohibits federal funds from being used for medical marijuana prosecutions.

“No reasonable person would agree with the Department’s interpretation of the amendment,” said Farr. “The DOJ can try to parse its wording but Congress was perfectly clear: Stop wasting limited funds attacking medical marijuana patients.”

Congress passed the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment to the FY 2015 CJS Appropriations to prohibit the use of federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana patients or providers that are operating legally under state laws. The bipartisan amendment passed the House last May and was included in the larger omnibus spending bill that passed Congress in December.

“The continuing prosecution of these cases,” said Rohrabacher, “represents a clear defiance of the will of the people, as represented by the United States Congress. Good people, as a result, are victimized by their own government.”

Despite Congress’s clear intent, the DOJ has moved forward on several medical marijuana cases including the Kettle Falls Five case in Washington and cases involving several dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay area. In a recent statement, DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said the amendment doesn’t apply to cases against individuals or organizations, but merely stops the Department from “impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws.”

In response, the letter stated, “As the authors of the provision in question, we write to inform you that this interpretation of our amendment is emphatically wrong.”

A copy of the letter can be viewed here:  http://1.usa.gov/1y5GaaE

The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment was cosponsored by Reps. Don Young, R-Alaska, Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Tom McClintock, R-Calif., Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., Paul Broun, R-Ga., Jared Polis, D-Colo., Steve Stockman, R-Texas, Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Justin Amash, R-Mich., Dina Titus, D- Nev.

Source: Representative Dana Rohrabacher

  • Johnny oneye

    Here it is . The epic battle of MEMOS
    ends .

  • Helen

    Still scratching my head as to why the authors of the bill FAILED to make it clear that the bill is meant to protect patients! What were Rohrabacher and Farr thinking???

  • Nathaniel

    Just real quick: How can the amendment stop the DOJ from “impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws” and at the same time not apply to individuals or organizations residing within those states with said laws? States rights are either allowed to be carried out or they aren’t, there is no room for grey area here.
    It is time to take this fight for a 10th amendment suit seriously. Every citizen/resident of those states where marijuana is legal in one form or another, should be free from tyrannical prosecution, period. State legislators need to start protecting their constituents from the feds. The feds are overreaching, everyone knows it, time to put the constitution to the test.

    • Helen

      Agreed. It would make no sense for Congress to pass a law encouraging states and state employees to enact legislation legalizing mmj, and to build a whole, complex regulatory structure to regulate the mmj industry, while at the same time knowing that the growers, sellers, and patients – the intended beneficiaries of those protected state actions – will just get busted and prosecuted. No sense at all.

      But I’m still baffled. The authors of the bill had been pushing it in the House since 2003. Did they never once think that maybe it could be written a little more clearly? If the bill had simply mentioned the patients and industry players, the DOJ would not have been able to take the position they took, and this wouldn’t be an issue.

      I think Rohrabacher and Farr tried to be a little too clever. On the other hand, maybe an explicitly-worded bill would not have passed. Ugh … I’m getting a headache.

      • Nathaniel

        The latter is more likely than the former. Farr and Rohrabacher knew they had to pander to proprietors and patients while not stepping on too many Congressional toes, thus the ambiguous text that could be misinterpreted was born.

        • Yep. Any more specifics and it might not have gotten the few GOP votes it did.

          • The 49 voles were from Libertarian Republicans. They are a solid anti-Prohibition block.

          • moldy

            But they want to remove my SS check that I worked for sinice 1969.

          • They want to get reelected, so they can’t go too far on a limb, or they’d get primaried and tea bagged. So, they can vote for mushily worded bills, but if the bills get too specific, they’ll be seen as dirty F’ing hippies by their voters, and lose their jobs.

  • skoallio

    Either medical marijuana is legal under federal law or not. If I go to wikipedia and still see marijuana listed on schedule 1, then nothing has changed.

  • Sinclair

    Guess what Representatives the D.O.J. is not going to listen to you. The only thing that will stop the D.O.J is full and complete legalization on the federal level. Otherwise they are just laughing at you. Eric holder and his cronies just looked at your letter and said Yea right!!!!!!!.

  • Cyndysub

    The DOJ really means Don’t Ordain Justice.

  • Where are the Democrat Presidential candidates on Prohibition. Of the two Republicans so far announced Cruz is mildly in favor of an end to Federal Prohibition and Rand Paul has made stronger noises. The Democrats remain silent.

    • The fact that you have to lie like this tells us so much about the weakness of your position (wanting to vote for a pro-weed Republican).

      First, you lied about Cruz.

      attn.com/stories/830/2016-presidential-election-marijuana

      > Cruz has traditionally been opposed to continuing with legalization measures, and publicly criticized Obama for allowing states like Washington and Colorado to move forward with recreational marijuana laws––and it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll reverse his course anytime soon.

      That page has lots of info you should have looked up before you started yapping.

      For instance, Rand Paul makes lots of noises. It’s all BS. But if you can find Paul saying he’s for legalization, as opposed to decriminalization, please, show us.

      And the Democrats? You say they’ve been silent. You lied again.

      Hillary has been softening on the issue steadily.

      O’Mally is notably better, and more specific, than your authoritarians (Paul won’t win the nomination, of course):

      > In April 2014, Governor O’Malley signed a bill that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. But he is still not in favor or legalization. “I still don’t support Maryland being one those states that serves as a laboratory for legalization of marijuana,” O’Malley said.

      Bernie Sanders is right where you’d expect a progressive to be these days:

      > Senator Sanders might be the champion marijuana advocates have been looking for; he is not opposed to legalizing recreational use and supports medical use. “I have real concerns about implications of the war on drugs. We have been engaged in [it] for decades now with a huge cost and the destruction of a whole lot of lives of people who were never involved in any violent activities,” he told Time Magazine.

      • khh

        Ted Cruz either saw the light or felt the heat =>

        “Look, I actually think this is a great embodiment of what Supreme
        Court Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the laboratories of democracy.’
        If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road,
        that’s their prerogative. I personally don’t agree with it, but that’s
        their right.”

        –Ted Cruz CPAC February 26, 2015

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdX-eErbtq8

        • calvet11

          Lady; cannabis is a gateway drug to the fridge, couch and a different view on life. Please get some up to date information. Use the internet, use books, for God’s sake use some common sense. Bye the way, any pol. will say any thing to get elected.

        • Anyone thinks he’d continue this position as President just doesn’t know what a bullshitter he is.

          Someone should ask him straight up if he’d reschedule. Hillary has said we should consider it.

      • Cruz has come around to a “States Rights” position. What he said last year does not matter. What have the Democrats said so far? Either nothing or: “There is too much money in it”. And of course our “choomer” Presidents says:

        But on the question of whether the United States should, in the words of reggae musician Peter Tosh
        “legalize it” Obama was more circumspect.

        “I do not foresee, any time soon, Congress changing the law at a national basis.”

        But the President could change the law and reign in the “InJustice Dept.” And he does nothing. Too much money in it I guess.

        • He is a Cunnuck transplanted to Texas which is worse or he would have ended Prohibition there First! Jared Polis, Berny Sanders,or Elizabeth Warren are your leading Democrats!

          • Bernie Sanders is who I’ll be voting for in the primary, but Hillary will be the nominee and the next President. So, it’s good to see her softening her stance.

          • If half he people around ICT ever heard him speak on the floor they would too. His biggest enemy does a great job of stopping his voice any where around 37th street North!

        • ” What he said last year does not matter.”

          Yes it does. Because while he might let some states do their thing, he’s a hard ass on the subject, and would be a hard ass as President. Further, since he’s not for national legalization, he’s exactly the same as Obama on this. HUH?

          “What have the Democrats said so far?”

          Way more than any Republican.

          “But the President could change the law and reign in the “InJustice Dept.” And he does nothing.”

          You keep saying this shit, and I keep proving you wrong, which shows that you don’t care about facts. This administration has been much better than any administration in the past, and is certainly much better on this issue than John “Hippie Puncher” McCain and Willard “What’s Hemp?” Romney.

          And, you just dropped the other points, as usual.

          I said: ” if you can find Paul saying he’s for legalization, as opposed to decriminalization, please, show us.”

          Well?

          Also, you said Democrats have said nothing, and I proved you’re a liar on that too. Hillary has said the same thing as Cruz. Bernie Sanders has no problem with legalization.

          Bernie is running for the Democratic Nomination, you know. So, when you say Democrats have said nothing on the subject, you’re lying.

    • Denny

      Most likely because they don’t support it behind closed doors when they’re groveling for money, but they want those who do support it to be duped into believing they will, if elected.

  • Scott Ellenwood

    Fire, then PROSECUTE Holder. He’s Defying Congress; isn’t that also a crime?

  • Holder could be gone tomorrow if Republicans would stop playing games with Lynch’s confirmation.

    usnews.com/news/articles/2015/01/29/loretta-lynch-pot-legalization-marijuana-reform

    > Pot Reformers Aren’t Afraid of Loretta Lynch

    > The attorney general nominee says she opposes legalization, but pot advocates don’t see her as a threat.

    In the real world, this is known as progress. Want to see the progress lost? Elect Jeb Bush.

    • Denny

      What to see something even more sinister, elect Hillary.

      • Why are you avoiding my reply to your lies below?

      • JKC

        Not even close……at all……… Hillary will be more open as time goes on than Bush ever will be.

        • port carbon

          I Wouldn’t vote for either.

    • Heather James

      Not even Republicans want Jeb Bush, but Lynch would be a worse nightmare as AG than Holder–and any mj advocate that doesn’t fear her is taking a very narrow view, even if you only look at the topic of mj.

  • Jim Greer

    Every single elected official who is dragging there feet and lying to the people about mmj, BLOW ME. Tired of the rhetoric.

  • jontomas

    I’m so proud of my rep, Sam Farr, I could burst!

  • Thanks what about Medical Patients Nation wide ? Damn y’all leaving us dieing on side of the road because we are stuck in traffic behind bassackwards political machine funded by special interest s. regardless of what you may think we can not all just pic up and become Medical Refugees! Its not like we do not attempt to stuff the coffers Nationally!

  • HeyJah

    Gee – sorry folks! You can yell all you want, but this darn thing doesn’t have any brakes!!