WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress approved a measure Thursday (219-189) that will prevent the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. The legislation marks the first time in history that Congress has voted in favor of ending the federal government’s war on medical marijuana patients and providers. A record-high 49 Republicans voted in favor of the measure.
The amendment to H.R. 4660, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), prohibits the Department of Justice, including the DEA, from spending funds to prevent states from implementing their own medical marijuana laws. The amendment has been offered seven times since 2003. It received a then-record high 165 votes in 2007, which included 15 Republicans.