US Senate To Vote Imminently On Budget Amendment to Defund Medical Marijuana Raids

Senate members are expected to vote imminently in regard to language that seeks to bar the US Justice Department from interfering in activities that are compliant with state medical cannabis laws.

Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) will introduce the bipartisan amendment, which will be similar to language approved by the US House of Representatives earlier this month. As with other legislation, the amendment must be approved by majorities in both legislative chambers before it is sent to the President for approval.

This will be the first time in recent memory that US Senators have ever decided on provisions specific to liberalizing America’s marijuana policies.

It is time that we allowed our unique federalist system to work the way it was intended. Patients and providers should be permitted to engage in state-sanctioned, medical cannabis-related activities free from the threat of federal interference or federal prosecution.

Please write or call your members of Senate today and tell them to stop using taxpayer dollars to target and prosecute state-authorized medical marijuana patients and providers. For your convenience, a pre-written letter will be e-mailed to your Senators when you visit here.

42 thoughts

  1. Stop messing with medical marihuana care givers and patients. It’s medicine that helps them.

  2. Please consider voting to stop using my taxpayer money to harass and arrest medical marihuana patients and caregivers! Ima a tax payer and I vote!! Thank you for your attention to this matter! Mary Caudill

  3. How soon can they vote? When is the vote?

    [Paul Armentano replies: It could be within the next 24 hours.]

  4. The drug war has failed. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. It’s time to stop treating people who use cannabis as criminals.

  5. I’s time to end the war on drugs; it has destroyed far more lives than any drugs.

  6. Medical Marijuana is safer, much less addictive, and would benefit the taxpayers if the government would defund Medical Marijuana raids. Consider sharing this article and the message to as many people as possible! Write to your Senators and the President of the United States.

  7. cut the crap-Time to tax pot.politicians don’t have the balls to tax the rich so lets tax all who grow & buy & sell pot.

  8. The Federal Government has much more important things to spend money on. Let the States decide what is best for their citizens. Stop Federal involvement in State regulated Medical Marijuana.

  9. It’s amazing, outstanding that the two senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker lead this effort in real justice! Looks like bipartisanship gets things done! Now I wonder how things would be in our country if all lawmakers did the same?

    This should pass, Paul and McConnell are both still rightfully pissed about the feds “holding” the seeds up for the vets agriculture group in Kentucky, NORML did an article on it and the bill that started all this which passed the house (kind of bipartisan but not enough) of representatives a short while ago.

    This is such a wonderful time in our country for the impending freedom of “a plant”, our plant. I applaud and support NORML as well as anyone who stands up for this real justice.

    30 years of my 45 with MJ and I, off and on (usually on) is living proof that the “stuff” is not what the naysayers say it is. As I go around talking to people the main ones who I get to listen are the ones who never smoked it (probably nothing else either) and they understand the conversation, then if they might know my work history, (job acquaintances) family history, in other words they can respect this position and know this is inevitable as well as non-threatening.

    I look forward to assisting the representatives of country in the House and Senate who truthfully, honestly and in good conscience end this ridiculous farce of a drug war (on MJ) which we are completely sick and tired of bankrolling through our tax dollars. My biggest problem is we see people dying everyday using practically every drug available and especially alcohol, tobacco. But WE all know far too well that no one has ever died from smoking or ingesting MJ only, NO ONE EVER.

    Let us have our weed and leave us alone, from yesterday until tomorrow and through eternity and you wouldn’t even notice it. Today’s closeted MJ supporters are just chomping at the bit, just waiting. We will be ready we will prevail.

    Just think of a bipartisan administration for a moment, shake things up and have the winner and loser of the next Presidential election take the offices of the commander in chief and the VP – make them compromise! Make sure things get done which benefit us, period. (Nice thought huh?) Only if we make things happen, it’s on us – the citizens – through our votes and ironically through our ability to nullify charges when we sit on juries. Vote with our conscience and not just because some very power hungry and shortsighted politicians made a law a long time ago. Wake up people! If we can outlaw immorality like slavery then we can surely right a wrong like MJ prohibition, let’s just keep going, power in numbers no matter how you contribute. I love NORML and all entities that support what you do. Thank you, we watch, read and listen, Americans are far from stupid, we just need to remember that and focus on tasks like this so we get it right, so we get our congressional representation right. We do NOT work for them; they better recall they work for US. PEACE!

  10. Stop getting involved in the medical marijuana if its helping ppl why do you want to be just big dicks in use taxpayers money

  11. Please allow patients the right to chose their medicine. 2015 will make my 25 year with multiple sclerosis. The meds are not working. I’d like to chose my medicine (medmj4ms or stem cells).. with my neurologist’s oversight. And I vote! Independent by the issues which matter to me. Freedom of choice matters to me. Less government not more.


    Michelle White

  12. As they say “no taxation without representation,” it should also be stated that “non-crimes do not mandate prison terms,” at least in a just society.

    States’ rights trump monstrous federal, monarchical-type paternalism built into the over-grown system.

    I found it humorous that the corporate-owned media repeatedly lampooned the ‘economic stimulus bill,’ (deservedly so?) as frivolous, useless spending on silly, trivial, or esoteric causes.

    Yet the usual system, the daily operations of the drug war, does little more than imprison more people than any other country, in gross numbers, or as a per capita percentage.

    Caught with weed (a non-crime)? If you’re black you have a 1 in 2 chance of going to federal prison. If you’re Mexican/Latino, you have a 1 in 3 chance, and if you’re white, it’s 1 in 10.

    What if there were some economic stimulus bill that said, “we’re going to arrest people for what is normal behavior, a non-crime” in order to create money for privatized prisons, and let the trickle-down effect take place, for the good of the economy.

    Response? LOLOLOLOLOL

    And it’s how the feds run their daily routine, not just some one time stimulus bill, begging more money from the fed who is not part of the treasury, and benefits from the drug war and starting real wars where real people die, us and “them,” to enrich the already (obscenely) wealthy.

    No taxation to imprison fellow citizens who have done nothing wrong, who stand on the moral high ground over the DA’s, prosecutors, judges, drug war bureaucrats, drug “treatment” industry, prison industry and the rest (petro-chemical-pharma-paper from trees) of the inane and corrupt greed.

    The Federalist system was not meant to warp into a monarchy with figure heads king and queen, while bankers, the IMF and World Bank, actually call the shots for the runaway-train bureaucracy.

    It is allowable to declare that no part of one’s income tax be attributed toward war or “defense” spending, as an act of conscience. It is time to allow for a declaration where people are allowed to refuse to pay 1/3 of their pay to incarcerate non-violent offenders for a non-crime.

    The drug war directly shames the US and all of us, as compliant serfs to the lords of the “manor” who make arbitrary, expensive, pointless, ineffective, and ultimately harmful policies that cause more problems than would exist without federal “help.” And we pay out of our salaries for the injustice, brutality, and plain stupidity.

    People are expected to pay taxes yet there is no improvement, just degradation and more privatization and monopolies. This is because there is a perpetual deficit that accompanies a failed budget plan, and that deficit requires that Congress beg for money from the Fed, a non-governmental, private institution, a corporation that will take IOU’s from Congress, while the money they requested is created out of nothing, interest, charged on the citizenry.

    Cut half of federal funding to all govt agencies and they’ll still be as effective (or ineffective) without 3 times the staff. One guy does work while three others watch. The Fed was
    designed to be nearly impossible to destroy by way of the 1912 Federal Reserve Act, whose passage was lamented by W. Wilson until he died, as a grievous error, i.e., even in two terms, a President of the US cannot expect to change the board of governors. Yes the president nominates the chief who serves a life term, but that does not make the Federal Reserve a government institution.

    Pass the Monetary Reform Act (commodity-backed currency as US Notes, eliminating the national debt and cutting off all ties to the IMF, World Bank, and Bank of International Settlements, and other institutionalized brutalization Only the Congress has the authority to issue currency to satisfy the needs of business and consumers, through the treasury, not a fake-govt institution, and we would watch prohibition disappear by forfeit.

    Instead, we hang on with bated breath to see if the fed will raise interest rates, while they discount the true effects of inflation, devaluation of the dollar, and increasing cost of living, as if they can ignore reality.

    No more public funds to terrorize, prosecute, and cage non-criminals, period. Let the free-riders get real jobs, as they were supposed to, when they grew up, yet are a gestapo disguised as “the good guys” when ‘some drugs’ are not the actual problem, but the drug war is.

    The Human Rights Case for Drug Reform
    How Drug Criminalization Destroys Lives, Feeds Abuses, and Subverts the Rule of Law

    Drug Policy and Human Rights

    “In many countries around the world, drug control efforts result in serious human rights abuses – torture and ill-treatment by police, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, and denial of essential medicines and basic health services. UN drug control agencies have paid little attention to whether international drug control efforts are consistent with human rights protections, or to the effect of drug control policies on fundamental human rights.
    Human Rights Watch has been documenting human rights abuses linked to drug enforcement laws, policies and practices for more than a decade. In our investigations, we have found that some governments have justified a wide range of serious human rights abuses in the name of fighting a “war on drugs.”

    Americas: Decriminalize Personal Use of Drugs

  13. I checked. My senators are Cornyn and Cruz. It would be a waste of ink to try and move these two.

  14. UNfortunately, my state Senators Cornyn and Cruz suffer from A.S.S.H.E.A.D, or Acute-Saprophagic-Senatorial-Head-Enveloped-in-Ass-Disorder.
    Once again, we need not fear; The cure is a legal vaporizer full of legally prescribed cannibutter on a bun of lightly toasted hemp victory.
    Eat yer hearts out, prohibitionist scum. The harder you hold out Cruz, the harder you will fall. Vote against THIS bill? And THEN run for president? Its gotta stink in their Cruz…

  15. “Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ)”

    We’re getting closer and closer.

  16. Be a brave hero for the American citizens that know the benefits of cannabis and want to have it readily available when needed … without the fear of legal problems … I was so against it until I started doing my own research and it is has changed my thinking and my life … Thank you for thinking of us first … you won’t be sorry!

  17. DK and Julian,

    They work for you, Cruz and Cornyn. It is only a waste of time if you don’t tell them what to do. It isn’t like they know.

  18. @Walter Greene – The drug war is a failure as are those who have waged it for almost a century. Just think how much better off we would all be if so many resources had instead been used to maintain our crumbling infrastructure and to improve our educational system…

  19. I wonder if this would much help North Carolina in finally passing one of the medical (not CBD only!) bills that continues to be presented?

  20. @Dave Evans,
    Cruz doesnt even do his job and answer. But here’s Cornyn last month in response to the Smarter Sentencing Act that proposed ending mandatory minimums.

    Dear Mr. (Julian):
    Thank you for contacting me regarding the criminal justice system.  I recognize the time and effort that you are dedicating to actively participate in the democratic process, and I appreciate the benefit of your comments on this matter.
    We are a compassionate nation, but it is the duty of those in public office to protect the safety and security of our citizens.  For this reason, tough prison sentences are appropriate for violent and high-risk offenders—keeping them off the street and under the guard of law enforcement officials.  But prisoners should also be treated humanely while incarcerated, and we must make a coordinated effort to rehabilitate them where possible.  
    Based on my dedication to common sense criminal justice reform, I was proud to introduce the Federal Prison Reform Act of 2013 (S. 1783) on December 9, 2013.  This important legislation is modeled on Texas criminal justice reform, and would require the Bureau of Prisons to make recidivism reduction programs available to most non-violent federal prisoners.  It would also allow lower-risk federal prisoners to earn up to 25 percent of their remaining sentence in home confinement or in a halfway house if they have successfully completed such programming.  
    The Federal Prison Reform Act will increase public safety, decrease costs, and help lower-risk federal prisoners reintegrate into society following their prison term.  I am pleased that on March 6, 2014, a modified version of the Federal Prison Reform Act was adopted as an amendment to the Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act (S. 1675).  S. 1675 was then passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan vote of 15-2.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that this legislation is considered by the full Senate and signed into law during the 113th Congress.
    I am always appreciative when Texans take the time to reach out to me and share their concerns.  Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
    United States Senator
    517 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Tel: (202) 224-2934
    Fax: (202) 228-2856

  21. I’m pretty sure that the Pope’s recent comments against drugs, particularly marijuana, was at the request of Michele Leonhart, who was seen making the Pope an honorary ‘DEA agent’. Of course, she is concerned with keeping the DEA alive as people want to change course in the insane approach to the drug issue. Oh, and lets be mindful of that wonderful little ‘asset forfeiture’ program, which brings in billions upon billions in free revenue that doesn’t have to come from congressional budgets. The entire program is like a mafia in itself. The president should fire her, considering that she works for him, while blatantly trying to undercut his policies !

  22. The idea of the federal government’s continued persecution of fully legal state run medical cannabis centrers, and grow sites,is EXTREMELY UPSETTING TO ME!
    The sheer stupidity of thier actions makes me wonder if anyone is AWAKE in Washington D.C..

  23. I am so a shame of my pope. He knows that cannabis probition only fule evel. But yet he makes this statement. I belive the pay off is the distric atterns will not be persueing to many cathelit pristi haveing sexs with children.

  24. So how did this supposedly imminent vote turn out? Or was it not so imminent? Inquiring minds wanna know!

    1. Typical with politics, we won’t know until we know. There is a chance that the Senate may simply vote on a continuing budget resolution and not a whole new CJS appropriations bill, depriving Booker/Paul the opportunity to even introduce the amendment. There would still be an opportunity to have it put in the final measure, through conference committee negotiating out the differences between the Senate and House versions. Also still the possibility that they will introduce a full CJS bill and we get a vote on the amendment. Everything is very much in flux at the moment, but rest assured we will update everyone when we know something solid. The situation should be cleared up this week, likely in the next few days.

  25. Nothing here is intended to criticize or disrespect religion, but the pope?

    The opinions of the pope are the opinions of one individual.

    His opinions are no more well-informed or well-reasoned or justified as a right, than any other person’s opinions.

    What was said to be the “opiate of the masses,” again?

    When a group congregates and there is inspiring music and powerful speech that affirms something you believe in or care about, it can be uplifting, even energizing.

    When people share emotions together, it’s like the emotions become magnified; the quality of the experience is different than if one were alone. Just being in this sort of environment can be emotionally powerful, maybe even “drug-like?” And is there anything wrong with being in an altered state? No

    Altered states are a part of human life, and it appears to be a part of our behavioral makeup to seek out some altered states, it is part of our nature (Dr. Andrew Weil, referring to roller coasters and kids spinning around for the dizzying imbalance caused.) However, he added, it seems that at the same time, cultures seem to grant social acceptability to some intoxicants over others, while actively shunning the non-favored. (From the Union: The Business of Getting High)

    And is it wrong to attain an altered state if it is induced by a substance or chemical (botanically)?

    Maybe it’s not “better” than attaining states through meditation, or exercise, prayer and chanting, having sex, or undergoing other sensory stimulation.

    Attaining altered states through substances used for millenia, that are well understood, including possible toxicity, or adverse effects resulting morbidities, is not any worse an act than changing one’s state by other means, without substances.

    However the means a person uses to attain an altered state is morally neutral (unless it involves harming others). This is a a case of approval or disapproval. Mere disapproval somehow justifies (it does not justify how the wrongly arrested non-criminals are mistreated for using something that is merely frowned upon by others–who were conditioned to react that way–in reality)?

    The passive acceptance of harmful prohibition, and possessing DARE-type opinions were certainly influenced by CSA propaganda and inserted into normal socialization for decades. Thus, people are conditioned toward these opinions which have become beliefs over time.

    That still does not make it a “bad” way to achieve an altered state, certainly not worth labeling as a crime, and definitely not worth the harsh penalties associated.

    de Spinoza said “Let the punishment fit the crime.” If we modeled this mathematically, a ratio would seem appropriate. If one kills, they might be killed themselves, by the state. That’s like a 1:1 ratio, of crime in relation to punishment. If this comparison were assumed valid, then the crime:punishment ratio for cannabis use, possession, cultivation, distribution, would be like 1:1000, maybe 1:10,000

    This would resemble the ratio of a non-crime to a punishment of federal f’ing prison sentencing, for choosing to consume something that is not more potentially harmful (fact) than any OTC drug or pharma pill, or legal “culturally acceptable” drug.

    Live and let live.

    (But probitionists can go DIAF, as they say these days)

  26. Did the amendment to defund raids die in the Senate ? NORML can you update us on this ? I got this e-mail response today from my Senator:

    Dear Mr. West,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact my office about an amendment to the FY15 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill related to medical marijuana. Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts.

    As you know, in May, the House passed an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill, prohibiting any funds from being used “to prevent … States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” A similar amendment was filed when the Senate considered its version of a CJS appropriations bill. While no votes were allowed on any amendments, and the bill was ultimately pulled from the floor, I appreciate your input on this matter.

    Thank you again for your letter. I hope that you will continue to share your thoughts with me.


    Bob Corker
    United States Senator

    [Paul Armentano responds: The vote is now anticipated to be called after the Senate returns from their July4th recess.]

  27. Sound’s like it got pulled because McConnell and Reed locked horns.

    This is not Repub vs. Democtat; This is old school vs. new school. Sometimes I think that Billy Grahm still runs the country.

  28. In the Constitution it takes 35states to change an amendment, I know the federal cannabis law are not part of our nation amendment’s. So my question is “if 35 states past cannabis laws allowing citizens to use cannabis either for medical adult use. Wouldn’t the federal laws have to change with the state rights issued laws on cannabis?

  29. @Paul,
    Thanks for the update. Let’s hope our national day of independence inspires our Senators to find their hearts and do the will of the people. It would be even more symbolic if they took a few hours of their recess this Friday morning and passed this bill!

  30. There is no vote. There is only ignorance of the people. Drag this out as long as they can and hurt as many people as they can for their own interests. John Bradley.

  31. I agree with so many of these people. I am a medical marijuana user in CA where it is supposed to be legal. I have it in the form of edibles because I don’t smoke. I have several physical problems. I ONLY TAKE IT AT NIGHT

  32. I THINK ALL SCHEDULE 1 DRUGS SHOULD BE LEGAL. WE SHOULD TAX THEM AND MAKE A FORTUNE. Those who want drugs can get them very easyiy. This sounds like a no brainer to me!!!!!

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