Lawmakers Challenge the Department of Justice’s Interpretation of Congressional Medical Marijuana AmendmentLisa RoughApril 9, 2015
The Department of Justice has not been feeling very just lately, and some congressional cannabis crusaders are taking a stand against it. As you may recall, the recent Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana congressional amendment (House Amendment 272) was meant to protect medical marijuana activities in states where it has been legalized. The amendment has been nearly 10 years in the making, but the Department of Justice has chosen to interpret this amendment as only preventing them from “impeding the ability of states to carry out their own medical marijuana laws,” which means that they will continue to pursue medical marijuana patients, producers, and providers.
Don’t believe it?
Just ask The Werc Shop, a well-known cannabis analysis facility in California that regularly tests cannabis products for potency and pathogens. The reputable medical marijuana testing laboratory was raided this week, and the co-founder, Jeffrey Raber, as well as the company's acting president, Mark Piesner, were both arrested on suspicion of violations of the Controlled Substances Act.
Our reaction to this turn of events:
Our fearless congressional marijuana advocates refused to back down and sent a letter addressed to former and interim Attorney General Eric Holder, warning him that the Department of Justice is violating the new federal amendment by continuing to prosecute marijuana “crimes” in legal states. Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) headlined the letter (possibly due to the focus on California’s largest cannabis access point under scrutiny, Harborside Health Center). They touted a provision that prohibits the department from using government resources to prevent states from implementing their own state laws regarding medical marijuana, saying that the new law is to prevent the department from wasting limited resources on businesses that are operating legally under state law.
“We respectfully insist that you bring your department back into compliance with federal law by ceasing marijuana prosecutions and forfeiture actions against those acting in accordance with state medical laws,” wrote Farr and Rohrabacher.
We gotta say, we have to agree.