Marijuana amendment adopted
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The House early Friday adopted Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherMidterms in 2018 become most expensive in history Dems target small cluster of states in battle for House GOP super PAC pushes back on report it skipped ad buys for California's Rohrabacher, Walters 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.

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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 BlumenauerGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Dems damp down hopes for climate change agenda Marijuana and the midterms 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 FlemingOvernight Energy: Watchdog opens investigation into Interior chief | Judge halts Pruitt truck pollution rule decision | Winners, losers in EPA, Interior spending bill amendments Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Coast Guard suspends search for missing Ohio plane MORE (R-La.).

Rep. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisMarijuana activists arrested for smoking outside GOP lawmaker's office Interior to publish Zinke's calendars weekly Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership 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."