President Signs Federal Spending Bill Protecting State Sanctioned Medical Marijuana Programs

President Barack Obama signed spending legislation into law on Tuesday that includes provisions limiting the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed individuals or operations that are acting are in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states.

Specifically, an amendment sponsored by California Reps. Dana Rohrbacher and Sam Farr to the $1.1 trillion spending bill states, “None of the funds made available in this act to the Department of Justice may be used … to prevent … states … from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Said Farr following Congress’ passage of the legislation: “The federal government will finally respect the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws. This is great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients.”

Similar language prohibiting the Justice Department from undermining state-sanctioned hemp cultivation programs was also included in the bill.

Also contained in the appropriations measure is a rider sponsored by Maryland Republican Andy Harris that seeks to limit DC officials’ ability to fully implement a November 2014 municipal initiative depenalizing the personal adult possession and cultivation of cannabis. At this time however, it remains unclear whether the enacted language is written in a manner that can actually do so. On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson “plans to ignore the provision” and that he will “send a bill implementing Initiative 71 to Congress in January for a 30-day review, during which federal lawmakers can veto it or let it stand.” Such a review is necessary before any DC initiative can become law.

Washington DC’s Initiative 71, which was approved by 70 percent of District voters, removes criminal and civil penalties regarding the adult possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to six plants.

66 thoughts

  1. Still really doesn’t matter says:
    December 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    The Koch Bros support legalization. They also support a lot of candidates who don’t their primary interest is balancing the budget.

  2. I just noticed that the language in the medical marijuana amendment prevents the DOJ from preventing states from “implementing their own state laws” regarding medical marijuana. Does anyone realize what this MEANS for the N.I.D.A. and the legalization of cannabis? No WONDER they supported the research with the U. of Michigan that reported less marijuana use among teens in states that legalized marijuana… The language in this amendment is cutting N.I.D.A.’s ability to fund propaganda in ANY state that wishes to pass medical marijuana laws!
    For nearly half a century now N.I.D.A. has used our tax dollars to deny the medical efficacy of marijuana in any research, legislation or legal dispute that attempts to defy the main doctrine of marijuana’s scheduling in the Controlled Substance Act, which defines marijuana in the schedule 1 category stating it has “no known medical value.” Imagine what this means for the pending Federal verdict in the U.S. government v. Picard, et al, which is currently challenging the scheduling of marijuana based on recent evidence of its medical use. Imagine what this means in States like Nebraska and Oklahoma which are suing Colorado for “damages” from legalization, or Texas where the new Governor Greg Abbott will now have to rely on his own state funds to counter any medical marijuana legislation in the state next year. This amendment clearly states the DOJ, which includes states Attorneys Generals and District Attorneys from using Federal funds to suppress medical marijuana legalization.
    Then there is California, Maine and Nevada which are gearing up their campaigns to legalize. This amendment means only state funds can be used to stop these laws from implementation!
    We know (or at least hope) Gov. Brown of California isn’t going to use state funds to prevent marijuana legalization in his state. California alone has the population to pass us over the %50 mark of the U.S. population with pro-medical marijuana law, changing the game entirely for the Supreme Court and any pending hearings the Justices wish to hear regarding the scheduling of marijuana.

    This amendment just paved the way for the descheduling of marijuana.

    I find it very important to point out the hypocrisy and sudden shift in N.I.D.A., which has been at the rotten root of prohibition by funding the lies that marijuana has no medical use for the last 45 years. I don’t know if it was “anonymous,” “Still doesn’t matter” or “MSimon” who posted the comment about the Koch Brothers supporting legalization, but there is a very important economic factor to the hypocrisy of prohibition we all need to understand, which Koch Industries illustrates with excess hubris. Behind N.I.D.A., behind prohibition all these years, have been industries that have patented and profited from keeping cannabis of all kinds from the lands of small local farmers. On one hand, Koch Industries donates a sum to legalization efforts to attract libertarian votes away from Democrats, while the Lion’s share of their money goes to Super Pacs that support anarchistic prohibitionist policies in the Republican Tea Party. It’s a ruse; a ploy for the uneducated that don’t understand that Libertarians want to GET RID OF PUBLIC EDUCATION, Democracy and Income tax all together. “Yeah, we’re for marijuana legalization,” says David Koch, while at the same time he owns patents from stainmaster carpets, lycra, oil for asphalt and petrochemical plastics… all of which would compete and lower in value with a flourishing domestic hemp industry. Remember that %98 of the “eradication” of cannabis by the DEA’s cannabis eradication program over the last four decades has been hemp, not marijuana. When the hemp amendment to the Farm Bill passed early this year, the Koch Brothers shut down the government using their Tea Party cronies in order to maximize their oil subsidies and pass their own evil amendments, such as placing a useless cap on the EPA at %10 for ethanol production of ANY vegetable matter, not just corn, which real Republican legalization proponents like Grover Norquist wanted mainly to protect Iowa corn subsidies. Now, even though we are finally poised for legalizing hemp thanks to this Spending Bill, we have to convince the government to allow for production of %100 ethanol engines using hemp, as Ford and Diesel intended when they originally produced the first engines more than a century ago… Engines that weren’t even combustion engines… they worked of the low temperature electrolysis of pure hemp fuels and oils.

    Henry Ford’s first model T off the assembly line was built and fueled entirely of hemp, all the way up to the cellulose plastic windshields. ( But it was the pertrochemical industry with their oil well Tycoons that pushed GM and Congress to create corrosive gasoline combustion engines, nylon, and other patentable synthetics in order to increase the value of oil wells and petrochemical patents, owned by companies like DuPont. For all of Anslinger’s racist propaganda that “marijuana made darkies think they were better than white men” or would “rape white women,” Anslinger was in bed with families that ran the Forestry Department that had control of U.S. timber, which would also decrease in value if a domestic hemp industry created paper products and building materials. Instead of distributing sustainable wealth to small farmers in the form of legal hemp production, Petrochemical and agriculturally engineered patents maintain a few in power at the price of American farmers, precious resources such as fresh water top soil, agricultural sustainability and even Democratic principle. Feral American Hemp uses half the water required by cotton while producing twice the cellulose and much more protein than genetically engineered corn.

    Racism is an Economic engine fueled by lack of education, hatred, fear and Prohibition.

    Today, Koch Industries owns the patents that originally passed the Marijuana Stamp Act of 1937, sold to them by DuPont in 2004. Today, Koch Industries owns Georgia Pacific, and those same timber patents that cut and erode the northwest to the southeastern forests for paper and building materials we could more efficiently and more sustainably create from hemp, all while sustaining our fresh water and top soil instead of eroding and contaminating it.

    With the money made from these timber and petrochemical patents alone, and then the prohibitive support of pharmaceutical patents, private drug testing and private prisons with Federal quotas to maintain, and a corrupt arms and drug cartel running through our DOJ under the C.S.Act and the A.T.F.’s legal right not to disclose serial tracking numbers of the sale of U.S. weapons, it is absolutely stunning that our marijuana movement is making progress at all.

    Never before have we seen such an Apollonian-Dionysian conflict of Good over evil at this scale, not even since slavery or since the corruption rings that made Colonel Custer the Secretary of Indian Affairs that distributed food and funds to Indian Reservations… At least in those days the oppressed could grow some hemp and die fighting for what they believed in… (I should add that slave revolts and Indian success in battle were much more prevalent than our American textbooks allow us to believe, in large part due to the agricultural success of hemp production… but that’s another book for another time…)

    The Prohibition of cannabis we face today is far worse of a violation of human rights than we have ever seen in history as it exists on a much greater scale where the international influence of American Drug Policy has such a deep impact on our climate and the whole world’s agricultural sustainability…

    Cannabis prohibition is an even greater violation of our civil rights than outright slavery or genocide, because it succeeds in accomplishing both while deceiving us into the politics of blaming racism and fear on the very same socioeconomic inequality created by prohibition of cannabis itself…

    We may know of the hypocrisy of our laws, such as the Department of Health and Human Services that both threatens to take custody of our children for marijuana consumption while owning patent #6630507 for cannabinoids as neuroprotectants.
    But what is more subtle, more deceptive and perhaps most evil from prohibition, is we all unwittingly or willingly choose to purchase the products that which purchase our own freedom and further the patents of prohibition. Every time we pay at the pump, every time we purchase synthetic foods from Kraft, cigarettes or Starbucks from the Altria corporation; Every time we purchase anything unsustainable made from finite petrochemical products or timber we could maintain more sustainably by older slash and burn methods and regrowth of mast, fruit and hemp than the clear-cutting industrial methods we have implemented by using paper and building materials from monocultured pine forests instead of hemp provided by small farmers… We are trading our own flesh and precious topsoil for a genetically engineered monoculture that robs us of our own human identity and sustainability.

    There is enough arable land in the United States to grow enough hemp to supply and sustain all of our food, fuel, shelter, medicine and energy needs. We can build our vehicles and homes entirely out of hemp, all while retaining and building top soil, instead of washing it all out to sea by using the excess pesticides, fertilizers and precious ground water that genetically engineered and subsidized cotton and corn are taking from the land, all while hemp remains prohibited for domestic commercial use. Improper subsidy, patent and zoning have contributed to the loss of our staple products, so that it is safer to eat corn grown in a rural area of Mexico than the feed corn and wheat that has contaminated and cross-pollinated the corn products we eat that fatten us in the way it was intended to fatten cattle. The hemp that 45 years of eradication has contaminated has been modified… not engineered… and yet through all those decades of prohibition our government has been preventing us from using the one crop, cannabis, that can save us from the monoculture of genetic patent and engineering from companies like Monsantos and DuPont.

    But not anymore.

    This amendment signed by the President and passed by Congress prevents the DOJ from interfering from the implementation of state hemp laws. This leaves private industries like Koch Industries, DuPont and Monsantos more vulnerable to exposure from the now pro-marijuana media… because we can now distinguish private and Federal prohibition dollars… because even the Washington Post defends legalization, where traditionally they were run only up until recently by a family with their own prohibitionist policies of propaganda… but we’re not all about selling paper anymore, are we? We’re typing and texting electronically, which took a huge profit out of the paper industry, and threatened to cripple the free press, until the syndicated press learned to find new ways to advertise and subscribe professional journalism to educate the American public. (Although truthfully, I could find a lot of uses subscribing to a newspaper that distributed their print out of hemp… insulation, homewrap, compressed lumber… sigh… It’ll come down in price eventually…).
    The most wonderful thing that has happened in the information age has been the ability to google a problem, find a great non-for profit or PAC like NORML, write a Congressman and donate to the cause all on a lunch break and go right back to whatever we were doing, (Even if it includes purchasing petroleum-based finite products).

    We can educate ourselves. We can educate our children. We can tell the TRUTH. And if there was ever a foundation of Democracy against the Plutocracy of Prohibition we continue to face toe-to toe, Education must be it.


  4. Robby; Keep using the Green; I would suggest adding some type of daily cup of Tea; I would ask your dietician which Tea would be best; I have read:”Black Tea reduces Cortisol levels”.

  5. Anne says:
    December 31, 2014 at 10:05 am

    PS I applaud President Barry O’ !!!

    Nothing is keeping him from rescheduling. Other than he doesn’t want to.

    Better than all the other Presidents on Cannabis? Sure.

    Good enough? No where near.

    Quite cogent and well written. I’m so sick of people (I’m pointing at you MSimon) defending hypocrites like Rand Paul and the Koch Bros. Classic case of cognitive dissonance.
    I would love to share your post with others.

  7. erin says:
    January 1, 2015 at 5:52 am

    I’m not defending the Koch Bros. But I hate to see misinformation. The bros. favor legalization. Very unfortunately they have a higher priority (balanced budget) which makes them support candidates who don’t.

    As to candidates for 2016? Rand Paul is only mildly anti-Prohibition. But give me one other name that is more anti-Prohibition than he is.

    Name me one other candidate who has spoken out about drug war racism.

    Rand Paul: Drug war targets minorities

    As to our “wonderful President” ? Why hasn’t he rescheduled? Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder. Pass it on.

    You want my opinion about what is going on? Slow motion for legalization. High taxes. – The government is owned by the cartels. That is why you see proposals to decriminalize users but keep it illegal to grow or sell.

    No more taxed than tomatoes.

  8. MSimon: In regards to Obama, I’m happy that he showed some backbone on a number of issues. However, on the issue of cannabis, I have been and still am sorely disappointed.
    Cannabis was jammed in to the CSA by Executive Order against the prevailing medical advice.
    Obama could deschedule or cause the descheduling by the same means.
    On this matter, he has shown himself to be a gutless, two-faced *@&#.
    Even more disappointing is that the ” word on the street” is that he has said he will not do anything more on this issue for the remaining time he has left.

  9. @ MSimon: I would say to Obama: If your daughter had a disease which MJ could “cure”; would you re-schedule the herb then? Why then are our children less important than yours? A

  10. On top of all that – suppose you grow and give it away under a high tax regime? Then Wickard vs Filburn kicks in as exemplified by Raich. You are affecting interstate commerce by giving it away. They could definitely jail you for that. In the extreme they could shoot you.

    What we need is to get the government out of the business altogether. No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes. At any level. We don’t want illegal cartels. We don’t want legal cartels.

    We definitely don’t want to have to depend on GW Pharmaceuticals and similar type companies for our medicine. We don’t want government and doctors controlling who gets medicine.

    We have done enough begging on our knees to make our point. It is now time to stand on our feet and demand what Eric Garner demanded. “It stops today.” – “Don’t touch me.” – “Just leave me alone.”

  11. Msimon, Rand Paul is a Libertarian that hangs out in the Republican party as you can’t win elections if you’re not aligned with the Rebubs or Demos. “Tea Party” doesn’t mean anything but losers and mental cases. For a couple of weeks there was a “tea party” and then it got purchased by some rich people went to shit faster than any polical movement in history. Turned into a bowl movement practically overnight. Maybe someday, we’ll get another shot at having a “tea party”.

    Frankly, I’d rather vote for a green party or a marijuana party; at least you know what they are about. While “tea partiers” blabble about freedom meaning people can poison you with anything and you can’t do anything about it. When there are no regulations, will they support you when you shoot the guy that gave your daughter brain cancer? Ot blow up the factory where they manfucture poison carpets? Or will they call you a criminal and a terrorist?

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