It had all the markings of a measure that on one would notice: an obscure amendment to a low-profile bill, receiving a vote after midnight, the same week as a national holiday. It’s hardly a recipe for generating national headlines.
But the U.S. House of Representatives nevertheless did something overnight that Congress has never done.
The House passed an amendment late Thursday night to restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration from targeting medical marijuana operations in states where it is legal.
The 219-189 decision came on a bipartisan appropriations amendment spearheaded by California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and California Democrat Sam Farr. The amendment still faces several procedural hurdles before it is ratified, but this is the first time such an amendment has succeeded in the House.
The roll call on the vote is here. Note that it passed largely with Democratic support – the vast majority of Dems voted for it; a clear majority of Republicans voted against it – but the measure was backed by a bipartisan group of co-sponsors.