April 8, 2015
WASHINGTON – Reps. Sam Farr, D-Calif., and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder today insisting that he stop the federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients and providers who are in compliance with their state’s laws. The letter was sent in response to recent statements by the Justice Department that it would proceed with these cases despite Congress passing a strict prohibition on the use of federal funds for medical marijuana prosecutions.
“No reasonable person would agree with the department’s interpretation of the amendment,” said Farr. “The DOJ can try to parse the wording but Congress was perfectly clear: Stop wasting limited funds attacking patients.”
Congress passed the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment to the FY 2015 CJS Appropriations bill to prohibit the use of federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana patients or providers that are operating legally under state law. The bipartisan amendment passed the House of Representatives last May and was included in the larger omnibus spending bill that passed Congress in December.
“The continuing prosecution of these cases,” said Rohrabacher, “represents a clear defiance of the will of the people, as represented by the United States Congress. Good people, as a result, are victimized by their own government.”
Despite Congress’s clear intent, the DOJ has moved forward on several medical marijuana cases including the Kettle Falls Five case in Washington and cases involving multiple dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay area. In a recent statement, DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said the amendment doesn’t apply to cases against individuals or organizations, but merely stops the department from “impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws.”
In response, the letter states, “As the authors of the provision in question, we write to inform you that this interpretation of our amendment is emphatically wrong.”
A copy of the letter can be viewed here: http://1.usa.gov/1y5GaaE