Medical Marijuana DEA Raids Restricted Thanks to House Vote
Back in February of 2013, law enforcement officials swarmed a home, after a government employee who was visiting another house, had spotted some marijuana plants on the property.
Cops entered the house, and confiscated the marijuana plants, all while the owner of the home -- a wheelchair-bound 64-year-old woman -- watched helplessly as her home and property were invaded by agents like a SWAT team crashing into Pablo Escobar's mansion.
Turns out, the woman was Cathy Jordan, the president of the Florida Cannabis Action Network, and had been suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease since 1986.
But now, thanks to the U.S. House of Representatives, raiding the home of a person who uses weed for medical purposes will be no more.
On Thursday evening, the House passed an amendment that would restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration from targeting medical marijuana operations in states where it is legal.
The amendment, which was spearheaded by California Representative Dana Rohrabacher's amendment to the 2015 Justice Department appropriations bill, passed by a vote of 219-189.
What this means for Florida, where marijuana -- medical or otherwise -- is still illegal, is that should the legalization of medical marijuana pass in November, the feds can no longer interfere with people like Cathy Jordan.
Stories like Jordan's aren't rare, either.
In March, a Florida woman was abruptly visited by Florida Child Protective Services on an anonymous tip that she had been administering marijuana to her 12-year-old son, who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy.
Part of that investigation included separating the woman's two children from her for questioning, including her 9-year-old daughter.
Turns out, the woman had been giving her son prescribed medications as well as hemp oil, which is legal.
"The House's bipartisan vote to end the federal government's interference in the affairs of medical marijuana states is a victory for patients, physicians, medical cannabis growers and suppliers, and the principle of states' rights," said United For Care campaign manager Ben Pollara, via a press release.
"No longer will sick Americans have to fear their own government for simply seeking to secure the medicine they require to treat their debilitating medical conditions."
Overall, for advocates of medical marijuana, the fact that the passing of this amendment was bipartisan is a sign that attitudes are shifting across the nation as more and more people understand the benefits of medical weed.
"[It] underscores how support for this issue has definitively crossed all ideological barriers in our nation," Pollara said.
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.