A bipartisan measure that would have eliminated funding for federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where they’re legal failed Wednesday in the House of Representatives. The legislation, introduced by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), was part of the appropriations bill to fund the Department of Justice for fiscal 2013. It failed 262-163.
The failed bill’s text reads as follows:
None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.
Of the 190 Democrats in the House, 134 (more than 70 percent) voted in favor of the bill. Only 29 of the 242 House Republicans (less than 12 percent) did.
“If states’ rights aren’t a good enough reason to pass this amendment, do it because of compassion. Compassion demands it,” said Farr in his statement Wednesday on the House floor. “We offer this amendment for terminal cancer patients,” he added, “for AIDS victims, for persons who suffer chronic pain. We offer this amendment not only to protect those people, but we offer this amendment to protect the states that are progressive enough to provide alternative medical options to those who need it.”