- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2014

The usually progressive Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz continues to confound fellow liberals by voting against medical marijuana and other pro-weed legislation.

Mrs. Wasserman Shultz, who serves at the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, three times broke with most of her fellow House Democrats early Friday to vote “no” on blocking feds from interfering with medical marijuana and hemp research in states where it’s legal.

Mrs. Wasserman Shultz’s office said the votes were cast in defense of executive power.

“The congresswoman believes that it is not appropriate to limit the ability of the Executive Branch to enforce federal law at their discretion,” said Sean Bartlett, communications director for Mrs. Wasserman Shultz, Florida Democrat.

She was among just 17 Democrats to oppose a measure that would halt federal raids or prosecution of growers, distributors or users of medical marijuana in states that have legalized the drug’s use with a doctor’s prescription.

It easily passed in a bipartisan 219-189 vote, the latest sign of growing acceptance of marijuana across the country and the political spectrum.

She was among 16 Democrats who voted against two separate measures that would block federal agents, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, from interfering with the importation of hemp seeds or hemp research in states where its legal, such as Kentucky.

Those measures passed in landslide votes of 246-162 and 237-170.

“It’s sad that she’s still so out of touch with the vast majority of members of her own party, as well as the voters of her state, on this issue,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a group that advocates legalizing pot. “She’s truly an outlier, and that’ll become clear to her once medical marijuana passes overwhelmingly in Florida this November.”

Mrs. Wasserman Shultz also broke with her party earlier this month to oppose medical marijuana.

She was among 18 House Democrats who joined 204 Republicans to defeat a measure that would have authorized Veterans Administration doctors to discuss medical marijuana with patients in states where its legal to use the drug.

That time, she said it was “premature” to let VA doctors talk about medical marijuana before getting the results of a study into the drug’s effectiveness treating post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.