Marijuana amendment adopted
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The House early Friday adopted Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 California was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success GOP's Steel wins California House race after Democrat Rouda concedes 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 BlumenauerDemocrats offer competing tax ideas on Biden infrastructure Democrats have a growing tax problem with SALT Progressives up pressure on Biden to back COVID vaccine patent waiver 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 FlemingTrump wants Congress to delay Census deadlines amid pandemic Meadows sets up coronavirus hotline for members of Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Iran strikes US bases in Iraq; Trump to speak today MORE (R-La.).

Rep. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisEthics upholds Gohmert's ,000 metal detector fine 14 Republicans vote against resolution condemning Myanmar military coup House GOP holdouts muddle Trump vaccine message 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."