June 29 2006, 5:36 AM
Tom Tancredo and I may not see eye to eye on immigration politics, but when it comes to the politics of medical marijuana, I have to give him credit. He broke with Republicans yesterday to vote for the Hinchey- Rohrabacher Amendment which would bar the U.S. Department of Justice (including the D.E.A.) from using taxpayer funds to conduct medical marijuana raids or arrest and prosecute users in the 11 states, including Colorado, where voters have approved medical marijuana. He's done the same since 2004, as has Rep. Bob Beauprez. True, their votes are based on their support for states' rights rather than medical marijuana, but in my view they deserve some credit for supporting the amendment. Yesterday's final vote tally is here. Colorado Republican Congresspersons Marilyn Musgrave and Joel Hefley voted against the bill, as did Democrat John Salazar. Reps. Diana DeGette and Mark Udall voted for it. The Amendment failed by a vote of 163 to 259. But, more Republicans voted for it this year than last year, which is viewed by backers as progress.