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Last night, members voted to slash $23 million from the DEA's budget and reallocate the money for most cost-effective programs. One amendment, from Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) shifted $9 million from the agency's marijuana eradication program to youth programs; another, from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) cut $4 million from the DEA budget for rape test kits; while the third, from Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) shifted $9 million from the DEA to a program to try to reduce police abuse by procuring body cameras for police officers.
Washington is chipping away at pot prohibition. In a series of votes on Tuesday, the U.S. House ended the DEA's controversial bulk data collection program and also passed three amendments cutting funding from the DEA and shifting it to other federal law enforcement priorities.
The Obama administration generally tolerates state-level regulation of marijuana for medical or recreational use, but government agents and prosecutors – in the absence of spending prohibitions – retain the right to shut down regulated state markets and prosecute pot growers, sellers and users.
"There’s unprecedented support on both sides of the aisle for ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states set their own drug policies based on science, compassion, health, and human rights," said DPA's Piper.