Target: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner
Goal: Thank legislators for voting to end federal raids on legal medical marijuana facilities
In a historic vote, an amendment that puts a stop to Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) raids on medical marijuana facilities in states where it is legal passed in the House of Representatives with an unexpected 30 point margin. The measure will prohibit the Department of Justice from using taxpayer money to interfere on any level with patients or dispensaries in any of the 22 states that currently allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. If approved by the Senate and signed by President Obama, this bill has the potential to save the federal government millions of dollars a year and stop terminally ill people from being subjected to lengthy prison sentences for using medically prescribed treatments.
The amendment, which was sponsored by Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, is attached to an appropriations bill that funds the DEA and the Department of Justice. The passage of the amendment signals a huge shift in conservative attitudes towards medical marijuana, as similar measures have failed six times just in the past 10 years. Despite the significant increase in Republican support, Republicans still opposed the bill by a ratio of 3-1, while Democrats overwhelmingly supported it with a for-against ratio of 10-1, for a final count of 219-189.
Under current federal law, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which means the federal government does not recognize it as having any legitimate medical uses. However, national polls done by both conservative and liberal groups consistently show approval ratings of around 85 percent for legalizing medical marijuana. This is the first time that the U.S. Congress has acted to support states’ rights to regulate marijuana as they see fit. It is long past time that our elected representatives recognized the will of the people when it comes to marijuana regulation. Thank these officials for supporting their constituents and standing up for patient rights.
Dear Representative Boehner,
The U.S. House of Representative’s support for the amendment to end federal interference with states’ medical marijuana regulations is a huge step toward ending the failed and expensive war on drugs. It is also an important signal to patients and doctors who might benefit from medical marijuana, but have been inhibited from pursuing treatment options by the possibility of federal drug raids and prosecution.
With public support for medical marijuana at an all-time high and attitudes toward the war on drugs shifting rapidly, now is the time to work toward a more sane and evidence-based national drug policy. Thank you for standing up for patients’ rights and government accountability.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: O’Dea via Wikimedia Commons
Original petition: Provide Federal Protection to Medical Marijuana Patients and Businesses