Analyzing Congress’s Latest Vote To Protect Legal Marijuana States From Federal Enforcement

Analyzing Congress’s Latest Vote To Protect Legal Marijuana States From Federal Enforcement

Last week, for the second year in a row, the House of Representatives approved a spending bill amendment to protect all state, territory and tribal marijuana programs from federal interference. The measure, which blocks the Department of Justice from using its funds to impede the implementation of cannabis local programs, cleared the chamber in a 254-163 vote. While there were fewer votes in favor of the amendment compared to last year’s tally of 267-165, that’s accounted for by an overall dip in votes, the death or absence of pro-reform members and the lack of ability to vote on the floor by delegates representing non-state U.S. territories this time around. “No” votes also decreased, though by a smaller margin. “Overall, we are pleased with the successful vote,” Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment. “It indicates an eager willingness for the House to address the underlying issue of federal prohibition and hope that House leadership views it the same way.” There were notable flips in both directions—most significantly longtime opponent Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who for the first time voted in favor of the measure—and other dynamics at play. This analysis focuses on comparing only the 2019 and 2020 votes, whereas a previous Marijuana Moment’s piece compared last year’s result to a 2015 vote on the initial version of the measure that narrowly failed by a tally of 206-222. All told, 222 Democrats voted in favor of the amendment while 157 Republicans opposed it. However, despite that partisan…

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Source : MJ moment
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