Dems press leaders to include pot legalization provision in spending bill
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A coalition of House Democrats wants an upcoming government spending bill to cut funding for a program that cracks down on cannabis cultivation.

In a letter to House leaders involved in negotiating the spending bill, known as an omnibus, 12 Democrats urge inclusion of an amendment passed earlier this year that would reallocate funds from the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Domestic Cannabis Eradication-Suppression Program.

Current government funding is set to expire on Dec. 11, with multiple policy riders likely to be attached.

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The amendment, which passed by voice vote to the individual Justice Department spending bill in June, would redirect $9 million for the DEA program toward funding for the Violence Against Women Act, assisting victims of child abuse, and reducing the deficit.

The 12 Democrats argue that the cannabis eradication program has mostly seized unintentionally grown wild plants descending from industrial hemp that aren't used in drug production.

"There is no justification for spending this kind of money on an antiquated program never shown to be effective," the lawmakers wrote in the letter to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOcasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump MORE (R-Wis.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations panel.

The Democratic lawmakers who signed onto the letter were Reps. Ted Lieu (Calif.), Jared Polis (Colo.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners Overnight Energy: Critics worry Trump ignoring plight of honeybees | EPA employee protests union contract while receiving award from Wheeler | Green groups team up to host presidential climate summit MORE (Ore.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.), Mark PocanMark William PocanOn the USMCA, Pelosi can't take yes for an answer Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners MORE (Wis.), Mike Honda (Calif.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Beto O'Rourke (Texas) and Sam FarrSamuel (Sam) Sharon FarrMedical marijuana supporters hopeful about government funding bill Marijuana advocates to give away free joints on Capitol Hill DEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion MORE (Calif.).