US lawmakers back state medical marijuana laws

by Andrew Taylor

The U.S. House of Representatives voted early Friday in favor of blocking the federal government from interfering with states that permit the use of medical marijuana.

The somewhat surprising 219-189 vote came as the House, which is controlled by the Republican Party, debated a bill funding the Justice Department's budget.

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

"Public opinion is shifting," Rohrabacher said, noting a recent Pew Research Center study that found 61 percent of Republicans support medical marijuana. The numbers are higher for independents and Democrats.

Opponents say marijuana is regulated too loosely by the states and harms the brain.

The measure now heads to the Democratic Senate.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Clues to a city's health may be found in its sewage

date 1 hour ago

Research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee suggests that sampling a city's sewage can tell scientists a great deal about its residents – and may someday lead to improvements in public health.

AAFP issues comprehensive breastfeeding toolkit

date 1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—A new breastfeeding toolkit is available, which includes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) business case for why employers should support breastfeeding, according to a ...

Understaffed nursing shift impacts patients

date 3 hours ago

Patients exposed to understaffed nursing shifts have a significantly greater chance of suffering conditions such as surgical wound infections, pressure injuries, urinary tract infections and pneumonia.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.