California Congresswoman Introduces ‘Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act’

United States Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), along with eight co-sponsors, has introduced legislation — House Bill 6335, the Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act — which seeks to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act so as to “exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical-marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.”

Representative Lee’s bill, the first of its kind ever introduced in Congress, is a direct response to Justice Department’s increased and arbitrary use of the civil asset forfeiture statute to sanction property owners whose tenants are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. Since October, US Attorneys in California alone have sent more than 300 threatening letters to landlords across the state, resulting in the closure of more than 400 dispensaries, according to tabulations compiled by the group Americans for Safe Access.

Speaking in support of the proposal, Rep. Lee explained, “As a long-time supporter of the rights of patients to have safe and legal access to medicine that has been recommended to them by their doctors, this bill will provide clarification to California businesses and security for California patients. The people of California have made it legal for patients to have safe access to medicinal marijuana and, as a result, thousands of small business owners have invested millions of dollars in building their companies, creating jobs, and paying their taxes. We should be protecting and implementing the will of voters, not undermining our democracy by prosecuting small business owners who pay taxes and comply with the laws of their states in providing medicine to patients in need.

The Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act has been assigned before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. You can contact your member of Congress is support of the Act via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

Several other marijuana law reform bills also remain pending before Congress, including:

* HR 2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess marijuana by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The measure presently has 20 co-sponsors. You can contact your member of Congress in support of this Act here.

* HR 1983, the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, which ensures that medical cannabis patients in states that have approved its use will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from federal law enforcement agencies. The measure presently has 22 co-sponsors. Support this measure by clicking here.

* HR 1831, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, excludes low potency varieties of marijuana from federal prohibition. The measure presently has 33 co-sponsors. Its just introduced Senate companion bill, S 3501, has three co-sponsors. Contact your member of the House and Senate in support of this Act here.

* HR 6134, The Truth in Trials Act, provides an affirmative defense in federal court for defendants whose actions were in compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their state. The measure presently has 22 co-sponsors. You can support this measure here.

12 thoughts

  1. These are some good bills listed here. We just need to elect people to office who will move them forward.

  2. Kudos to Rep. Barbara Lee and her co-sponsors efforts to curtail civil asset forfeiture for compliant state-legal medical marijuana users.
    This legislation should be made to apply retroactively.

    That such legislation has not been proffered in prior Congresses speaks volumes about the long and sordid bipartisan support for this ridiculous prohibition against cannabis. On this basis, I would urge readers here not to get too excited about the prospects of this legislation actually passing, let alone getting President Obama’s signature.

    In point of fact, every Representative is vulnerable to the loss of their job every two years. The backlash against all incumbent politicians for the Federal escalation of the war against cannabis must be readily apparent to politicians with at least two brain cells. Introduction of legislation is no guarantee of passage, let alone getting out of sub-committee, a tactic frequently used by cynical politicians to CYA from disgruntled voters.

  3. I wonder sometimes if Obama has not been corrupted by the drug cartel in Mexico or other organized crime groups. This is the only reason I can think of for someone who smoked cannabis in his college years and beyond yet now opposes legalization.

    Vote for Ron Paul for President!

  4. 20 some odd sponsers.

    Forfeit is now a planned for, ongoing funding, for most enforcement arms. Reflecting on the lack sponsers, we can see most potential sponses fear reelection or retribution from members or constiuants of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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