Jacob Sullum on Growing Republican Support for Marijuana Federalism



Last week, by a vote of 219 to 189, the House of Representatives approved an amendment aimed at stopping federal interference with state medical marijuana laws. Similar measures have failed in the House six times since 2003, but this year the amendment attracted record support from Republicans, 49 of whom voted yes, compared to 28 last time around

Yet Republicans still overwhelmingly opposed the amendment, while Democrats overwhelmingly supported it. Given the GOP's frequent lip service to federalism, says Jacob Sullum, the party's lack of enthusiasm for letting states set their own policies in this area requires some explanation, and so does the need for this amendment under a Democratic administration that has repeatedly said it is not inclined to use Justice Department resources against medical marijuana users and providers who comply with state law.