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House votes to stop federal raids on legal medical marijuana states

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Artazum and Iriana Shiyan / Shutterstock

Members of the House voted late last night to stop federal law enforcers from interfering with medical marijuana operations in states that have made them legal. The measure, which restricts funds from being spent on stopping states from implementing the legalized distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana, will now head to the Senate, which will have to pass it in order to put a final stop to DEA raids being conducted on facilities that are legal within their state. While the federal government hasn't been intent on shutting down these operations, occasional raids have occurred because the operations are not legal at a federal level.

The measure was largely supported by House Democrats, though nearly 50 Republicans joined in, pushing it past the majority it needed to pass. Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher proposed the amendment, arguing that preventing federal interference would support states' rights to determine medical marijuana policy on their own, according to The Huffington Post. As a representative of California, it's far less of a surprise to see Rohrabacher pushing for this — still, with more and more states legalizing marijuana for medical use, there's good reason for Congress to push back against the federal government's unchanging rules.