Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Press Release: Congress Acts to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients!

Contact: Darby Beck                                                          For Immediate Release:                                                           December 10, 2014


Spending Bill Defunds Department of Justice Operations Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws

Future of Initiative 71 in DC Remains Unclear

Washington DC–In a stunning victory for medical marijuana advocates, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have included provisions in the omnibus spending bill prohibiting the Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with state-legal medical marijuana operations and protecting hemp cultivation for academic and research purposes. Opinions are mixed on what effect the bill might have on the implementation of DC’s Initiative 71, however, which would legalize the adult possession of small amounts of marijuana in the District. Some believe if the bill passes the initiative will remain in place, decriminalizing use but preventing the DC Council from regulating sales, while others think it could overturn the initiative entirely. Congress is set to vote on the bill later this week.

This is a great day for patients and for public safety,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “Congress has finally listened to the vast majority of Americans who believe the federal government has no right to interfere in the personal decision to use medical marijuana made by a patient in consultation with his or her doctor. Law enforcement never should have been a part of that decision and if this amendment passes, they no longer will.”

The medical marijuana provision was adopted from a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Dana Rohrabacher (R, CA) that passed the House in May 219-189. A similar amendment was proposed in the Senate by Senators Rand Paul (R, KY) and Senator Cory Booker (D, NJ) but never received a vote. If passed, it will impact the ability of the DEA to enforce federal laws in the 23 states and DC where medical marijuana is legal and reduce the use of asset forfeiture laws that allow law enforcement to seize assets without ever charging a person with a crime.

The bill now goes to the full Senate and House for approval, then to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit group of law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.


Press Release: Congress May Override DC Home Rule, Block Marijuana Legalization

Contact: Darby Beck                                                          For Immediate Release:                                                           December 9, 2014


Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Concerned Congress is Undermining Democratic Process

Washington DC–The Washington Post is reporting that Congressional efforts may undermine DC home rule and block Initiative 71, despite 70% of District voters casting ballots in favor of the new law. If Congress approves the initiative, adults in DC would legally be able to cultivate and possess marijuana. But some Congressmembers, realizing their colleagues wouldn’t support blocking the initiative directly, undermining home rule and the will of a majority of Americans, have instead included language blocking the measure in the spending bill, which can limit the federal funds DC receives.

“Those who fight sensible marijuana reform risk losing a tremendous amount of political support, even within their own party,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “But those who encourage these new policy changes that are already being demanded by a majority of Americans, will be vindicated as pioneers of intelligent public safety improvements. If democracy still matters to our leaders, they have to listen to the voters.”

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is concerned that blocking marijuana legalization will continue to promote a public safety nightmare of increased gang violence, police militarization and the fueling of dangerous underground markets. Decriminalization does not go far enough because marijuana is still not regulated by any measure of quality of safety standards and drug dealers don't ask for IDs, making the drug far more dangerous and easier for children to obtain.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit of law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.

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