U.S. House passes bill preventing federal interference in state medical marijuana laws

By Kyle Johnson,

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on Friday that includes a measure aimed at preventing the government from spending money to interfere with states medical marijuana laws.

The measure, which was tacked on to a bipartisan bill, will "prohibit the use of funds to prevent certain states from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana," reports Reuters. The bill passed 219-189.

The bill, which now heads to the Senate, was largely about the funding the Department of Justice for the next fiscal year.

The move from the Republican-controlled House comes as there continues to be a shift in viewpoint with marijuana and its use. Nearly 20 states now have medical marijuana laws on the books, with Minnesota the latest to join.

According to The Associated Press, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) pushed for the measure's inclusion in the bill. He said that Pew Research Center found that 61 percent Republican's back medical marijuana and the percentage rises for Democrats and Independents.

Opponents feel that the move for state legalization is moving much too fast, leaving drug regulations in the dust, with Andy Harris (R-Md) saying a study done by the Drug Enforcement Administration showed that many who are involved in supporting medical marijuana simply see the laws as "a means to an end" in their fight for recreational use.

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