The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure on Thursday (267-165) that would prevent the federal government from interfering with state marijuana laws, including state-legalized recreational marijuana.
“Today’s vote is the most significant step Congress has ever taken toward ending federal marijuana prohibition,” said Steven Hawkins, executive director of the MPP. “Congress is recognizing that the federal government must let the states decide on cannabis legalization — and not the other way around.”
The bipartisan measure would prohibit the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Justice Department (DOJ) from using funds to interfere with state laws that allow for the medical or recreational use, possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana.
This measure is more encompassing than previous amendments, which only applied to medical marijuana laws. Congress has upheld a rule preventing federal interference in states’ medical marijuana programs since 2014.
The Senate is expected create companion legislation within the coming weeks.