Lawmakers challenge DOJ on medical marijuana

Lawmakers challenge DOJ on medical marijuana
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Lawmakers are asking Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors First redistricting lawsuits filed by Democratic group On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history MORE to stop prosecuting medical marijuana users and providers in states that have legalized pot for medicinal use.

In a letter to Holder sent Wednesday, Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) responded to the narrow interpretation of the law that the Department of Justice gave in a statement to the Los Angeles Times earlier this month.

Agency spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said the amendments to the spending bill, which are designed to protect legal medical marijuana laws, do not restrict DOJ from federally prosecuting ongoing cases against individuals using or organizations selling pot.


It stops the department, he told the paper, from “impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws.”

In their letter to Holder, the congressmen called DOJ’s interpretation “emphatically wrong” and asked the attorney general to bring his department “back into compliance with federal law."

As the authors of the spending restriction, Farr and Rohrabacher said the purpose of the amendment was to prevent the department from wasting its limited law enforcement resources on those operating legally under the law.

“In fact, we can imagine few more efficient and effective ways of 'impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws' than prosecuting individuals and organizations acting in accordance with those laws,” the letter said.