BY TOM ANGELL
In a strong bipartisan vote on Thursday, a key U.S. Senate panel acted to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment that would bar the Department of Justice from spending any money to prevent states from implementing their own medical cannabis policies. The vote tally on the measure, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), was 21 – 9.
States with medical marijuana laws “need to know they’re safe from federal action,” Mikulski said in a debate before the vote. She introduced the amendment to “honor states’ rights and let the doctors do their job.”