Shortly after being elected, President Obama instructed the Department of Justice to stop going after people who were using marijuana for medicinal purposes. That directive didn’t last very long. Today, the Drug Enforcement Agency is busier than ever hauling in otherwise innocent people for doing something that their state law allows – relieving their pain with the aid of a natural herb.
Representative Dana Rohrabacher [R – CA46] introduced an amendment to H.R. 5326, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which would “prohibit the use of funds to be used with respect to preventing 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 from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” Rep. Rohrabacher was joined in sponsoring the amendment with Rep. Maurice Hinchey [D – NY22], Rep. Tom McClintock [R – CA4], and Rep. Sam Farr [D – CA17]. Urban, rural, Republican and Democrat.
The amendment had nonpartisan and diverse flavor. It failed to pass 163 – 262 (Roll no. 238). The only member of the Iowa delegation to vote in favor of the amendment was Rep. Dave Loebsack [D – IA2]. Reps. Bruce Braley [D – IA1], Tom Latham [R – IA4], Leonard Boswell [D – IA3], and Steve King [R – IA5] voted against the amendment.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have approved marijuana for medicinal purposes. Two other states have legislation pending before their governors (New Hampshire and Connecticut). Polls have shown repeatedly that approving marijuana for medical purposes run in favor of the concept, from 51% to 80%.
What is it that 4 out of 5 members of Congress from Iowa don’t get? Do they actually approve of tax-payers’ dollars going to the armed DEA raids that bust a middle-aged woman with multiple sclerosis? Do they still think that marijuana will do all the things that Harry Anslinger claimed?
There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, results from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others. – Harry Anslinger, 1937 testimony before Congress.
Rohrabacher’s amendment was nothing more than telling the DEA that it should quit wasting time and money going after individuals and small businesses who are abiding by their respective state laws.
Perhaps the money would be better spent training the DEA about a certain document called the U.S. Constitution, particularly Amendment X: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”