In what is being hailed as a historic step forward for marijuana law reform, the U.S. Congress has voted in favor of an amendment that could end Drug Enforcement Agency raids on medical marijuana facilities -- but don't give much credit to Missouri's representatives.
Twenty-one states have laws to allow marijuana for medicinal use, but the drug is still illegal under federal law and the DEA conducts regular raids on facilities that produce or sell it. However, California Republican Dana Rohrenbacher's amendment, which passed 219 to 189, prohibits the Department of Justice, including the DEA, from spending funds to obstruct states from implementing their own marijuana laws.
Of the 219 "yes" votes, 49 were Republican -- the highest vote count from the GOP for similar legislation (different versions of this bill have been proposed seven times since 2003, according to the Marijuana Policy Project).
However, Missouri's Republicans weren't a big part of this momentous swing in favor of reform. Six of the Show-Me state's eight representatives are Republican and only one voted in favor of it: Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican from Missouri's 3rd District, which includes Chesterfield, O'Fallon, and Jefferson City.
Three representatives did not vote. They are Republican Vicky Hartzler and Democrats Lacy Clay and Emanuel Cleaver.
And the rest of Missouri's Republicans voted "no." They are: Ann Wagner, Sam Graves, Billy Long, and Jason Smith.
Here's the full text of the amendment:
AMENDMENT TO H.R. 4660, AS REPORTED (CJS APPROPRIATIONS) OFFERED BY MR. ROHRABACHER OF CALIFORNIA
At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:
1 SEC. ll. None of the funds made available in this
2 Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with re-
3 spect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Cali-
4 fornia, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Co-
5 lumbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine,
6 Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mis-
7 sissippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire,
8 New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South
9 Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and
10 Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their
11 own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, pos-
12 session, or cultivation of medical marijuana.
Click on the next page for more information on the amendment and how Missouri voted...
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