The House early Friday adopted Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherNow someone wants to slap a SPACE Tax on Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, et al 'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Former Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building MORE's (R-Calif.) proposal to bar the Justice Department from preventing states' implementation of their own medical marijuana laws.
Adopted 219-189, Rohrabacher's measure was offered as an amendment to a 2015 appropriations bill to fund the Justice Department, Commerce Department and science programs. It would apply to the 33 states that allow the use or possession of medical marjiuana.
Rohrabacher said that his amendment would reflect shifting public opinion toward the use of medical marijuana and limit federal overreach.
"Despite this overwhelming shift in public opinion, the federal government continues its hard line of oppression against medical marijuana," Rohrabacher said.
The amendment attracted the support of a bipartisan coalition in favor of legalized marijuana.
"This train has already left the station," said Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerPhotos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress Bottom line American workers need us to get this pandemic under control around the world MORE (D-Ore.), whose state allows the use of medical marijuana. "The problem is that the federal government's getting in the way."
But other lawmakers argued that states shouldn't be encouraged to promote what has long been an illegal drug in the United States.
"This will take the away the ability of the Department of Justice to protect our young people," said Rep. John FlemingJohn Calvin FlemingLobbying world Trump wants Congress to delay Census deadlines amid pandemic Meadows sets up coronavirus hotline for members of Congress MORE (R-La.).
Rep. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisRepublicans demanding Blinken impeachment are forgetting one thing — the Constitution Sixth House GOP lawmaker issued K metal detector fine Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Md.), a former physician, said that other addictive drugs proven to help with certain health problems weren't being promoted the same way as marijuana. He cited an example that nicotine, an ingredient in cigarettes, has been proven to help certain types of epilepsy.
"Why don't we have therapeutic tobacco?" Harris said. "Nobody writes a prescription and says, 'Smoke a couple of cigarettes and cure your epilepsy.' But that's what we're being asked to do."