If he runs for president, Sen. Rand Paul will not be your typical Republican candidate. On Thursday the Kentucky senator filed yet another amendment protecting the states that have implemented medical marijuana laws—as well as the patients and doctors acting in accordance with them—from federal prosecution.
The amendment, attached to the “Bring Jobs Home Act,” would allow states to “enact and implement laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use” without threat of federal interference.” The measure would also protect patients in places where medical marijuana is legal (23 states and the District of Columbia) from prosecution for violating federal marijuana laws.
Paul, who is widely believed to be eyeing the presidency, introduced a separate measure in June to stop the Drug Enforcement Administration from using federal funds to go after medical-marijuana operations that are legal under state law. A similar version of the amendment introduced by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Sam Farr easily passed the lower chamber in May, underscoring marijuana’s growing national acceptance.
Paul’s press person has said that the new amendment, if enacted, would go farther than the Farr-Rohrabacher legislation by providing a more formal framework for protecting states that have enacted medical marijuana laws.