While the amendment still must be approved by the Senate and signed by the President, the amendment was passed by an astounding 219 to 189 vote.
This means that the Department of Justice and DEA can no longer mettle with state clinical cannabis and industrial hemp programs! There are currently 22 states with legal clinical cannabis and industrial hemp programs in the United States, but the fear of the Federal Government looms large. The Federal Government has raided and shut down dispensaries in Colorado and hemp farming operations in Kentucky without explanation. The Farm Bill states explicitly that no tax payer money can be used to disrupt state-legal cannabis programs and this amendment ensures that the DOJ and DEA stay away from any state ran cannabis program.
While Federally cannabis is still illegal, legal cannabis operations can rest their heads at night that they won't have the Feds knocking on their door. If the Senate passes this bill and Obama sign off on the amendment, which many believe will happen, going forward each state that adopts a cannabis program will be protected under state law. The amendment is below as well as the proceedings from Thursday.
The Blog from NORML on this truly truly historic ruling!