Yesterday, Congress voted on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. The Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment would have prevented the Federal Government from spending taxpayer dollars to arrest and prosecute medical marijuana patients in the states where it’s already been made legal (Washington is one of them, of course, passing a law via voter initiative in 1998). Now I expect the Republican Congressmen of this state to vote against it. We already know that Reichert, McMorris-Rogers, and Hastings don’t give a rats ass about the voters of this state. But
three two Democratic Congressmen also voted against this bill. And one of them, Norm Dicks and Adam Smith, changed their vote from last year. Can we have an explanation from their office s for why they’ve decided in the past twelve months that the people of Washington State need to be protected from their own decisions? Can someone from either Norm Dicks’ or Adam Smith’s office explain why it’s so important for them him to have the federal government come here to overturn our laws? The second question also goes for Rick Larsen, who has consistently voted against this bill.
We are long past the point of where the old notions of “we need to protect the children” hold any water. In states where medical marijuana has been legalized, the numbers of underage marijuana users has actually decreased more than in other states. I think we deserve an explanation from our Representatives on this. There is absolutely no rational justification for voting against this bill, and they know it. The old days where votes like this aren’t noticed are over. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or not. When you vote against the sick and dying to advance the special interests of those who benefit from having more people flowing through our criminal justice system, we should know why.
I just received an email from Derrick Crowe, Communications Director for Rep. Adam Smith:
We noticed the vote this morning and have a submitted a statement for the record to correct the error. Adam should have been a Yes on Rollcall vote 733, the Hinchey Amendment to HR 3093, the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008. Adam has consistently voted Yes on the Hinchey Amendment in years past.
So in fact, Rep. Smith voted for Hinchey-Rohrabacher.
Not sure exactly how common it is for the House Clerk to get these things wrong, but apparently this time around he did. Apparently, Smith misheard the reading of the bill, and has since corrected his vote. Not sure how common that is either.
UPDATE 2: Dominic Holden has more, but still no word from Congressman Dicks…