By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The United States House of Representatives passed a bill preventing federal prosecutions against patients who use prescribed marijuana and cultivation where it is legal in the various states. If passed by the Senate and signed by the President it would mark a profound reversal in federal marijuana policy.
The House voted 219-189 in favor to an amendment of an appropriations bill. The amendment strips the Department of Justice of all funds for enforcing marijuana laws in states where medical marijuana is legal. This would not only include the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) but all other agencies as well as DOJ prosecutions, theoretically if signed into law prosecutions already in process must halt as well. With the recent signature by Minnesota’s governor, twenty two states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana statutes.