Young Co-Authors Letter Urging “Respect for Medical Marijuana Laws” Language in Upcoming Spending Bill
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2017 | Matt Shuckerow
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young recently co-authored a bipartisan letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, requesting the inclusion of language in the Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill that would bar the Department of Justice from using resources to prosecute individuals who are acting in compliance with their state’s medical marijuana laws. The letter was signed 43 members of the House of Representatives.
“As you prepare the Fiscal Year 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you include language barring the Department of Justice from prosecuting those who comply with their state’ medical marijuana laws. We believe such a policy is not only consistent with the wishes of a bipartisan majority of the members of the House, but also with the wishes of the American people,” the co-authors wrote.
“Since 2014, the House of Representatives has consistently supported such language – first by a vote of 219-189 in 2014, and most recently by a vote of 242-185 in 2015...We believe that the consistent, bipartisan support for such protections against federal enforcement, combined with the fact that similar language has been in place since December 2014, makes a strong case for including similar language in your base FY 2018 appropriations bill,” the letter states.
In recent years, Congress has amended its annual appropriations bills to prohibit the Department of Justice from using funds to prevent the administration and usage of medical marijuana in states where it is legal. As a cosponsor of these amendments – commonly referred to as the Rohrabacher Amendment – Congressman Young says his support serves to benefit members of our nation’s veteran community, who have relied on medical marijuana as an alternative to traditional but addictive medications, and his firm belief in the principles of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Congressman Young is a founding member of the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus, which serves as a forum for members of the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss, learn and work together to establish a better and more rational approach to federal cannabis policy. Young does not personally advocate for the use of marijuana, but says his position on marijuana policy is an issue of states’ rights. He has supported numerous measures in Congress to protect the ability of states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana, including Alaska, to enforce their own laws on the issue. These bills include:
Click here to view the letter.