US Representatives Debate Defunding DEA’s Ability to Raid Medical Marijuana States

UPDATE: Full C-SPAN video of the entire debate below –“R”R

[Update: Like previous vote totals for spending amendments to stop the federal government from spending tax dollars harassing state-sanctioned cannabisbusinesses and patients, unfortunately this vote too lost by virtually the same margins, 262-163, with 135 Democrats and 28 Republicans supporting the amendment.]

One of my favorite things about hosting NORML SHOW LIVE is the ability to break in with live coverage of events that are important to the cannabis community. Thanks to a timely tweet from SSDP, our associate producer Kaliko Castille tracked down the live C-SPAN coverage of a debate in the US House over an amendment that would defund the DEA from being able to prosecute raids in medical marijuana states. We interrupted our replay of a video interview with Dr. Donald Tashkin to cover the news.

I wish we would have broken in earlier to hear the remarks from Rep. Nadler and the other representatives who spoke on the issue. Full coverage of the debate should be up on C-SPAN’s website soon. For now, enjoy the remarks of Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO). Then recoil back to reality with Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) comparing medical marijuana to sex trafficking and a voice vote dominated by bellowing Republicans to kill the amendment.

132 thoughts

  1. I sent this to Mr. Wolf’s Facebook (thanks above for posting his page).

    Your lies about marijuana will only last so long. More people than you think caught your little act on C-SPAN. Trust me when I say that the rest of the country knows why you and the other morons voted the way you did. You sir have enough money. You don’t need more, and you only hurt the people you said you would help. Take your millions, go home, and let someone who knows the truth do the job correctly.

    1.) How many people have died as a direct result of you pushing cigarettes?

    2.) How many people have died specifically from smoking Marijuana?

    Oh that’s right, you don’t care as long as your bank account keeps growing with every lie you tell. If you and Bush were in a room together, I wouldn’t be able to choose who was more uneducated.

    I’m not worried though, the truth is known by over half of the citizens in this country. Let me connect the dots for you… Over half is a majority. Get a clue. We are much smarter than you think, and in the end, PROHIBITION ALWAYS FAILS!

    Tell us, will you honestly be proud of what you have done when your career is over? Have you helped people the way you said you would? Are you proud of denying people medicine that everyone but you and your friends knows they need? Will you sit back in your rocker and laugh about how you helped the DEA terrorize and destroy families?

    Marijuana is not the problem, YOU ARE.

  2. Time to take back our government. We have a large voting block, so lets unseat all incumbents until they start doing things our way. If we need a web site to control national vote, let me know and I will make a web site to store information so we can control nationally.

  3. I appreciate that the republican idiot from Virginia is so worried about our youth.. Too bad they do it by manipulating people to justify their cause/overseas bank account.. I wonder what Romney would do? I hear he is good at making money and killing REAL jobs..

  4. A Heroin/opiate/morphine based drug is compared to Cannabis? Relating the two is like night and day for anyone with TRUE experience. People WILL take REHAB before JAIL time any day that’s why we say we are dependent..I am just trying to poke some holes in their story since the truth won’t come from them.

  5. The vote results does let us know who voted against it, and there is no way a politician can lie out of it.
    It is a good chance for future candidates to compete against them.
    Keep the list as reference and vote!

  6. Thank you Paul for your response. I was confused by how quickly this happened, so thank you for clearing that up.

  7. Thank you for posting this NOMRL.

    In response to Rep. Frank Wolf’s comments… Teens don’t smoke medical cannabis, they get it from their drug dealer… not their sick and dying grandma.

  8. Republicans blocked marijuana yet again. Does that surprise anyone? Republicans also blocked a proposed study of marijuana by the FDA a short while back. To allow marijuana FDA research as medicine— Democrats vote yes —- Republicans vote NO—loss by one vote—so no medical research allowed by the FDA as needed to remove it from schedule 1. Thanks again and again and again Republicans for blocking our medicine at every level you possibly can. Want legal marijuana??? Vote ALL Republicans out of office at every level including city, county, and State.

  9. Any marijuana smoker who votes for MR. No medical Marijuana for any reason Mitt Romney needs to be shot.

  10. Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized!

    Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized even if it means Obama does NOT get re-elected.

    It doesn’t matter if Romney or the man on the moon is elected so long as you keep running the economy into the ground to make state and local economies need the jobs and their levels of government need the revenue from cannabis.

    Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized!

    The Beat Goes On


    Sonny & Cher

  11. So what is being done if any thing about his guy wolf is there any one going public and calling him in and making him explain his
    explain to the public his remark. Or is it just going to stop here ?

  12. Bren,

    Great post.

    One correction: only 29% of Americans have a college degree. Over 40% of the residents of washington D.C. have a college degree. Make no mistake about it, the federal government DOES think we are stupid. In fact, they think we are REALLY STUPID.

    How else could we explain a 75 year war on people who use a harmless plant which began with a LIE that went UNCHALLANGED?

  13. You would think with the obesity problem they would welcome a vice that has ZERO calories. Even with the munchies I don’t exceed my calorie intake a day. On the other hand alcohol is tons and tons of empty calories.

  14. You know, maybe if Republicans could stop thinking about who they want to abuse next, they could stop thinking about sex abuse… We’re for family values! What family values, assholes? You poison people with deregulation and lies. You hold your convention in Vegas the city of sin. Republicans are nuts and they have “family values” like the mafia does.

  15. …………….the Moron they call Mitch McConnell says that pot smoking leads to death.

  16. Well, let’s vote out all who voted no and keep those that voted yes…there were crossover votes, so we don’t want to base it on reasons that would get rid of those that are in favor of positive cannabis laws.

  17. Please don’t make statements like “all republicans need to be voted out”. First off, that’s not feasible. Second, there were some republicans that supported this bill. Third, 27% of the democrats voted against this. Ron Paul is a republican and I would take him over many democrats.

    For the record, I am a registered Libertarian, and wish more people understood what that means. Anyone who makes generalized statements bashing either republicans or democrats doesn’t understand politics.

  18. California deficit grows to $16 billion, Gov. Jerry Brown says
    Brown in January had estimated a budget deficit of $9.2 billion. He warns of even more painful spending cuts to come and will present a revised plan Monday.

    CALIFORNIA is mad and it is you, President Obama whose creating unemployment with the forced closures of dispensaries & marijuana businesses together with the republicans who are not making things better here….only worse .
    We want our Nation of California returned to its people, not to politicians .

  19. I did not read this article, only the comments. It is obvious that our leaders have betrayed us and the laws of the federal government are meant to destroy peoples lives and livelihood. They are purposely trying to destroy all of us, and filter out as many of the non-conformists as they can.

  20. Thanks, America for continuing this senseless drug ( marijauna ) war resulting in mass murders .

    Forty-nine headless, dismembered bodies were found along a stretch of highway in Mexico on Sunday.

    The mutilated bodies “scattered in a pool of blood”—some with their hands and feet “hacked off,” according to the Associated Press—were discovered by local authorities on the edge of the town of San Juan on a road that connects Monterrey to the Texas border.

    The bodies were thought to have been dumped there by a drug cartel, authorities said. A welcome sign near the killing field was filled with graffiti with the message, “100% Zeta

  21. Mike G, those “republicans” are going against the grain and the party would get rid of them if it could. Sorry, but if you’re a dependable, normal human that cares about your neighbors, the republicans don’t want you in their party, even if you do win elections.

  22. WTF frank wolf… how many people have died from marijuana abuse? how many people have died from oxycontin abuse. you cant die from marijuana unless you take obscene amount… amounts most americans would not be able to afford by going to a dispensary. Obviously marijuana doesnt have harmful effects like over the counter prescription drugs, so it should be treated differently and regulated. Massachusetts needs to adopt a medical marijuana bill for those who suffer with MS like my grandmother, and who need it to keep muscle spasms low and feel little pain.

  23. With so much support for Cannabis, and the obviously broken/delusional/ignorant/murdurous govt which still supports decades old, ignorant, racist lies and propaganda, why aren’t we doing anything about it? The longer prohibition continues, and the reasons why – the more ridiculous it gets! In my eyes, the govt (which is the result of the masses support) is responsible for –
    EVERY nonviolent drug offenders life that’s ruined, and what they go through in prison
    ALL the deaths that continue to tally due to the war on drugs
    This system responsible for anyone who had to resort to the black market and had something unfortunate happen to them as well as any deaths in the black market
    This system is responsible for ALL the tax payer money wasted in fighting an obviously failing war

    This system is responsible for ALL the pain and suffering that MILLIONS had to go through because they couldn’t get a safe and natural alternative to help their ailments

    The current structure is responsible for ALL of the people who became addicted top prescription drugs because they couldn’t get access to cannabis

    The establishment is responsible for the DEATHS of ALL the people who’s lives cannabis COULD HAVE SAVED

    The establishment is responsible for the deaths of unarmed, nonviolent citizens (and pets) during drugs raids

    The establishment is responsible for all propaganda filled human beings who walk around with ignorant, distorted views of one of the most benign substances on earth

    The establishment is responsible for not allowing the hemp industry to flourish to keep profits in other polluting and corrupt industries like OIL

    Denying hemp also stopped all the possibilities of all hemp products which could replace so many wasteful and polluting products we use today

    Lastly, establishment policies (which in a way are supported by the public through continuing to vote for the nonsense called politics) are responsible for future incidents where all the things I mentioned will continue to happen!

    How many lives would this add up to? How much money squandered? How many families ruined, and children displaced? It is truly disturbing the damage that cannabis prohibition alone has done to society!

    With 20,000 studies on cannabis, no deaths directly related to cannabis, and a govt that is in cahoots with big pharma/alcohol/tobacco, and refuses any findings or studies on cannabis, it’s very CLEAR WHAT WE NEED TO DO! This list doesn’t include all the other ways maintaining political and monetary systems harm the ENTIRE PLANET! Nonviolent, civil disobedience and mass nonparticipation is in order NOW! Let 2012 be the year we kick this shit off!!! Stop looking within the system for solutions!!! If you continue to promote a politician, think throwing money at the issue, or anything the current elite classes use to operate society, you may as well just give up.

    The establishment is not in any way here for your best interests. It makes zero sense to keep trying to do the same shit over and over within a system that is meant to suppress the masses through a wide variety of methods – its literally insane! Look anywhere in history – the values and “beliefs” of the public are based around the interests of the dominant class of the period. Right now we are dominated by a small 1% of the population due to the interests they have, and legal & economic structures they keep in place. So when you try to use their system to get something changed, one can see how we’ve been stuck for decades in a state of institutional classism. Laws are written to protect elite interests. When the people become educated, stand together, and discontinue support of harmful, contrived institutions, we will then begin taking steps towards civilization. Even the 1% are human beings – maybe some of them can wake up too. But, if the people CANNOT come together on common ground, recognize the root/core issues, and unite across the planet in a way never before seen in history, everyone may as well stop all forms of activism now.

  24. Dave Evans, please re-read my post as you apparently didn’t understand it. I am not a republican.

  25. Even DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz voted against the amendment. President Obama has turned his back on medical marijuana. Supporters of medical marijuana should turn their backs on the President, sit out this election, and re-double efforts at the state and local level.

  26. They claim Marijuana causes death? Where might that be? I have never heard of anyone overdosing and I have also never heard someone wrecking a car or killing an individual by Marijuana driving. And yet, tobacco sales cause several thousand deaths annually and alcohol constitutes for a majority of violence and killing in this country. So please do tell why weed is still illegal, but alcohol and tobacco I can get at any corner store?

  27. Elmer, our not-so-Supreme Court has already looked at the issue and decided that marijuana is too dangerous to be allowed under “freedom of religion”. The case was lost by Rastafarians and they directly associate ganja with the holy. Loop holes, apparently, are for everyone else.

    Why can’t pot heads get justice in this country?

    Mike, I don’t care what party you belong to 🙂 Libertarians are cool with me. But if only about 1 in 4 Republicans are worthwhile, and are also working against the party goals, it seems like it’s time to flush whole the damn party.

    I’m voting for Ron Paul in the primary. But probably for Gary Johnson in the main election.

  28. There are many f good people that would appreciate the jobs that these jokers are holding right now and they would likely do a real good job at them! I say vote these greedy lying politicians out of office in November and vote in the good people! These thieves have forgotten how to do real work and they need a refresher course in sewer pipe trench digging by hand or they need to move on and retire so someone real can have their positions…they have forgotten what working people do daily!

  29. Vote Ron Paul if you want the drug war to cease…write him in if necessary!He hasn’t quit! That’s just the NoBama media playing their games again!

  30. The funny thing here is I’m not seeing one person mention that the head of our nation is the greatest impediment we currently have re: reform. He’s the one who has promised to protect the medical patients and we now see that this was just another lie (among many) to get elected. The govt wants us to get hung up on partisan politics. This isn’t a partisan issue – its an issue of liberty and loss of personal freedoms. To hell with the Reps and the Dems – they only care about lining their own pockets. They’re not in it for anyone but themselves. When it comes time to vote, quit voting the “lesser of two evils” and vote for candidates who uphold the US Constitution. Period. This is the only peaceful way to take our country back.

  31. What we need to do is pressure our State governments to up hold our rights as voters. The DEA is so much smaller then the states police. When they raid dispenceries they’re breaking state law which we as a sociey passed. Arrest them for the criminals they are.

  32. I am now 66. By the time I was 35 I realised the following: Legalise it and tax it like wine.

  33. I think that most of our goverment rep’s have fallen off the rails.They do not go to washington to represent us they go get rich.We need to make a clean swipe and start over.Mr.wolf is being paid a lot of money by someone.If this contry grew our own we would not need mexican pot.Let the DEA have there crack,herion and cocain but leave our marijuana alone. VOTE RON PAUL

  34. As disappointing as this vote was, I was really glad to hear so many great arguements in favor of it. I hope everyone will write to thier reps thanking them for thier support, and expressing thier disapproval to those who voted against it.

  35. OK folks its time to make a stand.

    The only thing that can get things done is money and votes. Most of us have voting rights, some have money. Email this message to your elected officials and stand firm. Also send to like minded friends and family:

    To the President, Members of the US Congress, State and local elected officials:

    Criminal marijuana prohibition is a failure. Over 20 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses since 1965 with over 800,000 arrests in 2010. The problem is getting worse – not because of the benign plant, but because of the obsolete laws. The time has come to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation, and education.

    I can no longer vote for elected officials that support the the current laws. I have decided not to vote for any politician that does not publicly support the removal of all penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.


    Voting Citizen
    & Member of the Movement

  36. Can someone please post who voted against this? I’d like to make sure I don’t vote for those against lifting the prohibition in the next election.


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