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Key House Committee Blocks All Marijuana Amendments To Three Spending Bills From Getting Floor Votes



A powerful House committee has rejected multiple marijuana-related amendments to a series of spending bills, including proposals to ban certain federal agencies from testing job applicants for cannabis and prevent border patrol agents from seizing marijuana from state-licensed businesses.

The House Rules Committee declined to make the cannabis amendments in order for floor consideration as part of 2025 appropriations legislation covering the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.

For all three bills, the committee blocked an amendment from Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) that would prevent covered agencies from testing job applicants for marijuana use in legal states. The congressman has sought to enact the reform through numerous spending measures—so far without success.

The Rules Committee also rejected an amendment to the DOD bill from Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) that would have barred military branches from removing a servicemember based solely on a past nonviolent cannabis offense or conviction.

Members further blocked an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM), that would prevent the use of DHS funds for border agents to seize marijuana from state-licensed businesses. The proposal appeared to be responsive to recent reporting about Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents seizing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cannabis from state-legal businesses in New Mexico over recent months.

The same congressional panel also blocked all proposed marijuana amendments—some that were pro-reform and others that were anti-reform—from floor consideration as part of a separate large scale defense bill earlier this month. That means a measure included in the base bill to prevent military branches from testing recruits for cannabis as a condition of enlistment has been left intact, despite opposition from the White House.

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The committee rejected a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment to allow veterans to access state medical marijuana programs and eliminate a VA directive barring the department’s doctors from issuing cannabis recommendations.

The amendment is based on a standalone bill, the Veterans Equal Access Act, that Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has championed across multiple sessions. It’s advanced several times in committee and on the floor but has yet to be enacted into law.

While the Rules Committee didn’t allow it to advance as part of the NDAA, the reform was approved by the House this month as part of appropriations legislation covering Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (MilConVA).

An NDAA amendment from Mace that the committee also rejected would have allowed military servicemembers to have their discharge upgraded to a general, rather than dishonorable, discharge if they were penalized based solely on a non-violent cannabis offense.

Meanwhile, a House appropriations subcommittee has unveiled another key spending bill that contains a provision to block marijuana rescheduling, while also amending a longstanding rider protecting medical cannabis states from federal interference by adding new language to authorize enhanced penalties for sales near schools and parks.

The House Appropriations Committee separately passed another spending bill this month that was amended to remove provisions safeguarding banks that work with state-licensed cannabis businesses. Members also reattached a section blocking Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales that was omitted from the base bill.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based managing editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.


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