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WIRE: House votes to protect legal marijuana states

Washington, DC: Today, the House of Representatives voted 267 to 165 in favor of the bipartisan Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton amendment, named for Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

“This is the most significant vote on marijuana reform policy that the House of Representatives has ever taken,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Today’s action by Congress highlights the growing power of the marijuana law reform movement and the increasing awareness by political leaders that the policy of prohibition and criminalization has failed.”

“The importance of this bipartisan vote cannot be overstated,” Strekal continued. “Today, nearly one in four Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute. It is time for Congress to acknowledge this reality and retain these protections in the final spending bill.”

Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use, production, and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton amendment would expand those protections to also include activities specific to the production and sale of cannabis to adults.

“It’s past time we protect all cannabis programs,” said Rep. Blumenauer, co-founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and lead sponsor of the amendment. “We have much more work to do. The federal government is out of touch and our cannabis laws are out of date. I’m pleased that the House agrees and we are able to move forward.”

To speak with one of NORML’s leadership team, please email


NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high-quality marijuana that is safe, convenient, and affordable.

Find out more at and read our factsheets on the most common misconceptions and myths regarding reform efforts around the country at

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