WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today for the first time ever passed legislation that would protect all legally operating cannabis businesses from interference by the federal government. Under the Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton amendment, the Department of Justice (DOJ) would be restricted from interfering in the 11 states that have legalized the adult consumption of cannabis. The amendment passed by a vote of 267 to 165.
The National Cannabis Roundtable thanks Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) for sponsoring this important amendment. Rep. Blumenauer is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and a leading voice for marijuana policy reform, last year authoring a comprehensive blueprint for marijuana legalization. Rep. McClintock has been a longtime advocate for states’ rights to regulate their own cannabis economies. Both Reps. Blumenauer and McClintock have been leading voices for cannabis reform long before it was politically popular.
“It’s past time we protect all cannabis programs,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “The federal government is out of touch and our cannabis laws are out of date. I’m pleased that the House agrees and we are able to move forward.”
“The voters of California and other states made the decision to legalize cannabis,” said Rep. McClintock. “Under the Constitution, the federal government has no right to interfere with the states’ role in administering and enforcing those laws. This amendment represents a simple proposition, that when jurisdictions have the freedom to experiment with divergent policies, other jurisdictions can benefit from their example, good or bad. While I don’t recommend marijuana use, it is a matter of state prerogative and individual choice. The measure simply protects the right of a jurisdiction’s citizens to make decisions within their own boundaries.”
“The politics are finally catching up with the policy as bipartisan momentum for cannabis reform reaches an all-time high,” said Saphira Galoob, Executive Director and Senior Policy Advisor for NCR. “Protecting the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy, creating jobs and making sure veterans and patients have access to the treatments they need should not be a partisan issue. Today’s vote signals Congress is starting to agree.”