Congress Ends Federal Ban On Medical Marijuana

| by Sean Kelly

Thanks to a provision included in the new spending bill passed by Congress this past weekend, the federal government effectively ended its ban on medical marijuana.

After years of what the L.A. Times calls “tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana,” states that have already legalized medicinal use of the drug will no longer face raids from federal drug agencies. There are currently 32 states that have legalized medical marijuana.

The measure will become law once President Obama signs the spending bill this week, and it will mark a significant moment in the decades-long fight for pot to become federally acknowledged for its medicinal benefits.

The passing of this measure comes as the country becomes more and more accepting of the drug. The Obama Administration already recognized the measure strictly as a matter of policy, and Republicans are beginning to acknowledge states’ right to legalize pot for medicinal purposes.

“This is a victory for so many,” Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said, adding that the provision’s approval is “the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana.” Rohrabacher authored the measure alongside Democratic Rep. Sam Farr.

“The war on medical marijuana is over,” said lobbyist Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana. This is the strongest signal we have received from Congress [that] the politics have really shifted. ... Congress has been slow to catch up with the states and American people, but it is catching up."

Source: Los Angeles Times / Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org