We did it! (Again!)
Today, for the second time in history, the House of Representatives by voice vote approved legislative language restricting the Department of Justice from interfering with the tens of millions of consumers and businesses operating in legal marijuana states.
Named the Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee amendment, this bipartisan proposal’s final vote total was 254 to 163, with 97% of the Democratic caucus (222 of 228) and 16% of the Republican caucus (31 of 188) in favor.
“The American people are demanding a change to our outdated cannabis laws and I am glad to see my colleagues heeding their calls, ” Rep. Earl Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said. “As we work to ultimately end the senseless prohibition of cannabis and the failed war on drugs, these amendments will help ensure the protection of legal state, territory and tribal cannabis programs.”
“This is the most significant vote on marijuana policy reform that the House of Representatives has taken this year,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “The importance of this bipartisan vote cannot be overstated as today; nearly one in four Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute. It is time for Congress to acknowledge this reality and retain these protections in the final spending bill.”
“The next logical step for House Leadership is to bring legislation to the floor to end prohibition and demonstrate to the American people that the era of marijuana criminalization is drawing to a close,” Strekal concluded.
This action by the Congress highlights the growing power of our movement and the work of NORML leaders and activists all around the country.
Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long failed experiment with marijuana prohibition. It is our time to make our voices heard in the halls of Congress.
Now, we must shift our focus to the Senate and ensure that they do not move to strip out these hard-fought protections (again).