Just after midnight, the United States House of Representatives voted 219-189 to approve an amendment to appropriation bill H. R. 4660, which will prevent the Department of Justice from utilizing tax dollars to thwart “States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
A press release from Americans for Safe Access (ASA) states that: "This Congressional vote is a huge victory for patients," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of ASA. "No longer will we have to look over our shoulder and worry when the next raid or indictment will prevent us from safely and legally accessing our medicine," continued Sherer. "This is a game-changer that paves the way for much more policy change to come."
California Republican Dana Rohrabacher proposed the amendment to the appropriation bill, which will still need to be ratified by the Senate and signed by President Obama.
The full text of the amendment reads: “None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”