Recently, the US House Rules of Committee blocked the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, causing tremendous uncertainty for the supporters of the legislature. For those who don’t know, this amendment is a part of the federal budget bill that has limited spending on enforcement in infringing on state medical marijuana policies. This amendment is relied on heavily by patients. First considered in July 2006, it was in retaliation to the Ashcroft vs. Rausch judgement, which allowed federal authorities to arrest medical marijuana users. Although extended from its original date of September 30, 2017, its expiration is upon supporters.
The decision comes after Jeff Session’s threat to go after legal states, and news that the majority US voters opposed government enforcement came to light.
Sadly, representatives went against the people’s choice and supported it. While not a shocking decision, a waste of the taxpayer money, nonetheless As the fight intensifies, it’s important to know what’s behind the force battling the legalization.
Behind the Amendment
Earl Blumenaur, U.S. Representative for Oregon’s 3rd congressional district and an activist for marijuana and pusher for the amendment is, of course, infuriated with the decision, tweeting his feelings about the about the committee not supporting the people’s choices and in many cases, needs.
He has spent his entire career in public service advocating for health reform. His hard work has gotten him notable backing in investments and innovations — one of these being the progression of marijuana medical treatment.
Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, a spokesman for human rights once felt that representatives were finally listening to the people. As a member of the US House of Representatives and a believer of limited government interference, he is a staunch supporter of both medical and recreational marijuana. He once called the war on drugs a “colossal failure” and also argues against the financial obligation behind it.
Even if we set recreational marijuana aside for a moment and focus on the medicinal aspect, the fight to reject it still continues. And not by those who have studied the effects, but by those who benefit from its denial.
Even as we push through this progress, science is still being restricted. The FDA denies marijuana’s potential while settling many lawsuits of failing prescriptions they once approved. The DEA continues their long-winded war on drugs with a focus on a plant. But why?
John Suthers, Colorado Springs’ city mayor and prior Executive Director of Colorado Department of Corrections, is one of the state leaders pushing back. In 2016, he gave false statements to justify his fight against marijuana.
He claimed that legalization changed the perception of risks for kids causing a dramatic risk of young people using. He provided no data for his claims.
In relation to his past, Suthers should be excited. Part of the reason for Colorado’s recent decrease in recidivism is the lack of positive drug tests. But with recidivism down, funding may soon follow. Remember what happens when there is nothing to fund? Ask an Executive Director of a Department of Corrections and recall how lucrative the prison system could be.
As many know, the FDA is responsible for protecting public safety including approving drugs. Its beginning in 1906 was charged by a book exposing the meatpacking industry’s processes and procedures leading to federal regulations on food. Of course, why not go further and regulate everything?
Again, throughout its reign, many recalls were needed to be rolled out. This is normal and not always a reason to panic. Humans make mistakes. People should be more concerned if all approvals were perfect. An issue is while they’ve admitted to many mistakes and recalled many prescription drugs, they choose not to acknowledge that marijuana may be safer than some of the drugs they allowed. However, they can push synthetic THC prescriptions.
Now, the DEA will have a major issue if marijuana is legalized. The department also has a huge budget. It has been proven that going after marijuana is a lucrative business and the loss of that power would mean the loss of income.
Jefferson Sessions, US Attorney General
Jeff Sessions is determined to go backwards and rescind the protection medical marijuana users once had. He references the wording of the amendment as partial reason. Fun fact: Another factor in his decision came from data accumulated by Rocky Mountain High Drug Trafficking Area, a federally supported organization overseeing drug trafficking in Colorado.
While people may not have to worry about Jeff Sessions stumbling through states wasting more money than the US has at the moment, it’s still a potential problem. The love for marijuana is blossoming and stigmas about the plant are being debunked, but people are still fighting what will eventually be inevitable.
Even the states that legalized marijuana have issues. Pueblo County, Colorado has voted to repeal the legalization even though it meant the loss of thousands of jobs. Parent Paula Mcpheeters, lacked the education to explain to her child about the plant and doesn’t like the smell. While those opposing have simple or unconfirmed reasons for their protest, they are still a driving force.
Don’t ease up.