I just watched the live debate in the U.S. House over the ‘Rohrabacher-Hinchey-Farr-McClintock Amendment.’ The amendment to the 2013 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill in the U.S. House would effectively end funding for medical marijuana raids. An approval of the bill would have been huge for medical marijuana nationwide. Unfortunately, the amendment was voted down by a voice vote, and then later voted down 264-163 in an actual physical count.
I found out about the debate via Russ Belville’s Twitter feed. On his show he stated that it was brought to his attention by some Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) members. You gotta love those SSDP’rs, they are always on the ball! When I started watching the streaming video, Barney Frank was talking. Barney has been a longtime supporter of mmj, and it was nice to see a familiar face. California Representative Barbara Lee gave a very heartfelt speech about suffering patients and the recent closure of the Berkeley’s Patient’s Group.
My favorite part of the debate was when Colorado Representative Jared Polis was talking about ‘selective enforcement.’ He described a conversation that he had with Eric Holder in which Holder admitted that there were too many medical marijuana participants to enforce federal law on all of them, and therefore would have to participate in selective enforcement. Jared Polis pointed out that that’s a very dangerous policy. He pointed out to his colleagues that this can be used for enforcement with political motivations, which I personally feel we are seeing with Oaksterdam University and Richard Lee.
The worst part by far of the debate was when they let Virginia Representative Frank Wolf (R) speak. He had the audacity to compare state medical marijuana laws to fictitious state human trafficking laws. That’s a hell of a leap there Mr. Wolf! Human trafficking results in misery and suffering. Consuming medical marijuana is a harmless, victim-less activity. How he can compare the two is beyond me, but then again he said all kinds of things that didn’t make sense. Really Virginia, you elected this guy?
It’s unfortunate that this bill was voted down. However, just having a debate on the issue is a significant step. Let’s keep up the pressure on the feds. Write your representatives and senators, both at the state and federal level. Send e-mails, tweets, post things on Facebook, ‘up vote’ things on social media, and anything and everything else you can to keep this issue in voters minds!