U.S. Congress Backs Dana Rohrabacher's Bid To Ban Marijuana Raids

Categories: Bong Blotter

rohrabacherwithhat.jpg
Despite our many differences with Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) over the past several years--global warming/a.ka. "dinosaur farts," the Taliban, sloppy housekeeping to name a few--we've always admired his opposition to the federal government's heavy-handed prohibition on marijuana. With more than 20 states and the District of Columbia allowing medical marijuana usage, and Colorado and Washington states having passed recreational pot laws, a majority of Americans want weed to be legal.

And with a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, Americans are now closer than ever to actually seeing that happen. Both Democrats and Republicans came together to pass a bipartisan appropriations bill spearheaded by Rohrabacher that would prohibit the government from using federal funds to "prevent [states] from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana."

Medical marijuana activists are hailing the news as proof that America is finally ready to ditch its decades-long war on weed. "The general sense is that there's a lot of momentum around this medical-marijuana bill, in part because of all the states--especially including conservative ones--that are now in play," Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, told the Daily Beast, adding that Congrress is fed up with DEA Director Michele Leonhart's refusal to fall in line with the Obama Administration's recent dialing down of the war on pot. "She's living in a different world; she's stuck in the 1980s," Piper argued. "I think she's the last true believer in the war on drugs."

Rohrabacher's spending amendment now goes to the Senate, where it will pass a much more important challenge. But not everyone is so sure that the bill, even if it does reach Obama's desk, will do what legalization supporters hope it will do. In fact, a close look at the language of the bill shows that it doesn't contain any specific language banning the DEA from conducting raids of dispensaries or cultivation sites, despite all the headlines celebrating this notion.

"Legally, I'm not sure how much (if any) protection the amendment would actually provide," argues law professor Alex Kreit. "Putting aside the question of how to ensure compliance with the restriction, the measure only stops the DOJ from using funds to 'prevent' states from 'implementing their own' medical marijuana laws. It's far from clear that medical marijuana raids and prosecutions would be covered by this language."

However Kreit remains optimistic about the bill's potential impact. "[I]n this case, I think getting lost in the legal language would be to miss the true impact of this development," he wrote. "The amendment is not meant to change federal drug laws. It is a signal (and a strong one) to the DEA and DOJ that Congress is unhappy about federal interference with state medical marijuana laws."

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Email: nschou@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @NickSchou. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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22 comments
thraxz13
thraxz13

As a patient an caregiver fighting a current trial in Orange County Cal and who was recently beaten severely by Fullerton Police for a legal Medical Marijuana grow. How does this effect State Cases? Will we continually be harrased for obeying State Laws? Or will Orange County continue its current policy of "We don't care about State Laws and only enforce Federal Laws"? My first trial I had a State Judge read Federal drug Laws to my Jury!!! We need Justice and fair and equal regulations... Jason D. Andrews Executive Director Pro215.com

Andrew Phillips
Andrew Phillips

49 of the 233 GOP in the House voted in favor of the bill. While this is not ALL, or even close to a majority, 49 out of 233 in favor of medical marijuana is vastly better than prior votes. I'm happy with that progress.

sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333

the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13


1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...

"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
Deaths by Tobacco: Millions
Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

love and freedom forever

AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33

Evan White
Evan White

IF you're casting a vote one way or another because of a person's stance on Marijuana you really need to check your priorities in life.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Dana also thinks because he dropped acid in the 60's that he's inherently sympathetic to liberal causes. ::rolls eyes::

Too little, too late...

Paul Lucas
Paul Lucas

Most Republicans Voted AGAINST danas amendment. A Few voted for it but most were opposed. A few Dems also voted against it, most voted in favor but a few voted for it. In no way did House Republicans Back Danas amendment.

Fallen Angels Evnts
Fallen Angels Evnts

sadly, not using doj funds for raids. means little since they are keeping all money, all properties, thru the 'asset forfeiture program' which is in the billions or trillions of dollars. basically, stealing from americans and keeping all proceeds, much like germany did in wwII. whos benefitting from it ? they've seized- do they kno where the money is- probably not..

Steven Osweiler
Steven Osweiler

I challenge them to put their money where their balls used to be.

Steven Osweiler
Steven Osweiler

I challenge them to stop regurgitating the latest poll

Isaac Romero
Isaac Romero

Like he doesn't puff. Cmon, party boy...

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

Nich, Republicans overwhelmingly voted AGAINST Dana's bill. A few voted in favor of it but most were opposed to it. Democrats overwhelmingly supported it. A few were opposed to it, but most of the Aye votes were form Dems and most Nay Votes were from Republicans. 

thraxz13
thraxz13

If they don't have a stance on marijuana which is actually a racist word so call it "Cannabis" then they most likely have no view on anything important and don't care about our Countries future... Hemp can replace all oil products as well as is a renewable energy,food and medicine... It can change the economy

nschou1
nschou1 moderator editor

Yay Dems.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@nschou1 

Funny how a lot of conservatives/republicans like advocate putting limits on my personal freedoms...who I can marry, my reproductive options and what drugs I put in my body while at the same time having the nerve to call liberals/democrats "fascist" for trying to protect basic freedoms and granting new liberties to the individual.

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