GOP House backs state medical marijuana laws

Bag of marijuana, pot generic
A man pulls out a bag of marijuana. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-controlled House has come out in favor of blocking the federal government from interfering with states that permit the use of medical marijuana.

The somewhat surprising 219-189 vote early Friday came as the House debated a bill funding the Justice Department’s budget.

The amendment by conservative GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California — the first state to legalize medical marijuana — came as almost half the states have legalized marijuana for medical uses such as improving the appetites of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer told opponents that “this train has already left the station.”

Opponents said that marijuana is regulated too loosely by the states and has negative effects on the brain.

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