Lieu Amendment to Slash and Redirect Marijuana Eradication Funds is Adopted
WASHINGTON - Yesterday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles)’s amendment to H.R. 2578, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 was adopted by voice vote. The federal government’s Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program is funded out of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s Salaries and Expenses Account. Last year, $18 million was used for marijuana eradication/suppression. Lieu’s amendment cuts $9 million from the account and uses the savings to increase the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) Youth-Oriented Program by $4 million and Victims of Child Abuse program by $3 million. The additional $2 million is sent to the Spending Reduction Account.
“I am pleased the House of Representatives chose to adopt my amendment, which would cut funding from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program by 50%. Next year I will bring another amendment to eliminate the program completely.
“There is a growing, bipartisan consensus across the country that our marijuana policies must change. Despite the overwhelming support from scientists, doctors, and people across the nation for lessening restrictions on marijuana, the DEA still spends millions of dollars each year on domestic cannabis eradication. In 2014 alone, the DEA arrested 6,310 people under its cannabis eradication program for growing marijuana plants. This is a ridiculous waste of precious federal resources, especially when multiple states and jurisdictions have already legalized marijuana. It is time for the federal government to stop making marijuana use or possession a federal crime.
“My amendment redirects funding from the DEA’s Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program and funds programs to help child victims of domestic abuse, child abuse and sexual assault. We need to focus our resources where they are actually needed: standing up for children who have been victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, not spending taxpayer dollars on going after people who grow marijuana plants.”