CA NORML Legislative News

Congress Rejects Bill to Stop Federal Raids Against Medical MJ

But California Delegation Votes in Favor of Measure Co-Sponsored by Rep. Rohrabacher

Washington DC, June 16, 2005. For the third year in a row, Congress rejected an amendment to cut off funding for federal raids against medical marijuana. The amendment, by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach CA) was defeated 161-264, up from 148-164 last year.

The California delegation voted 34-19 in favor of the Hinchey- Rohrabacher amendment, up from 33-19 last year. Two Californians switched their vote to Aye from No last year. Rep. Joe Baca (D-San Bernardino), and Rep. Ed Royce (R - Orange Co). One, Rep. Mary Bono (R-Palm Springs), switched the other way to No.

Royce was one of only two California Republicans to support the bill, the other being the billšs co-sponsor, Rep. Rohrabacher, who called it a measure for states' rights and limited federal government. Republicans were under heavy pressure from their party leadership to back the Bush Justice Department and oppose medical marijuana.

Only one California Democrat voted in opposition to the bill: Rep. Dennis Cardoza of Merced. Cal Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (SF) spoke in behalf of the bill, along with Rep. Sam Farr (D-Monterey), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin). Republican Elton Gallegly (Ventura) was the only Californian to speak on the floor against it.

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