The U.S. House of Representatives still has the power to shock and it did so recently when it voted to block the federal government from interfering with states that permit use of medical marijuana.
Democrats, as well as libertarian-minded and moderate Republicans, banded together to pass the amendment to the bill funding the Justice Department’s budget by a 219-189 vote. All-in-all 49 Republicans broke rank to vote in favor of the provision (4 out of 5 Republicans opposed the amendment).
Nearly half the states in the union have legalized use of marijuana for medical purposes. However, the federal government still considers the sale, distribution and use of the drug illegal. This dichotomy in state law versus federal law has been a conundrum for authorities since California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use.