Congressional Protections For Legal State Medical Marijuana Programs Expected To Be Extended

3410000930_95fc2866fa_zWe welcome the extension and expansion of critical marijuana policy provisions through September 30 in the proposed fiscal year 2017 omnibus funding legislation.

The decision to reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment language illustrates both compassion and common sense when it comes to marijuana policy. Now, the majority of states and over 90 percent of the public approves of the use of marijuana as a medicine and Congress should not stand in the way of these reforms.

Congress deciding to maintain protections for state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs in the era of a Department of Justice being led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions means that patients ailing from conditions that range from cancer to PTSD can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. Once approved, states will be able to continue to service and implement these programs without fear of federal incursion until September 30 of this year.

Yet, this action is only a stopgap measure at best. Ultimately, Congress needs to amend federal law in a manner that comports with the available science, public opinion, and with America’s rapidly changing cultural and legal landscape. Such action includes removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act so that states possess the flexibility to engage in their own marijuana regulatory policies how best they see fit.

The text in the omnibus funding legislation is:
Page 230 – “SEC. 537. None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 25 Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.


5 thoughts

  1. Hell Yes!
    Big victory. We won the battle but the war is not over. Keep writing your Congressman the way we did this week and we’ll have the 2018 elections all about marijuana reform!

  2. Great news that the extension is in there, but I just hope it stays in there and it gets passed.

    I am hoping the language prohibiting Washington, DC from implementing legalization has been REMOVED, you know, that bullshit that Chaffetz has been putting in there. See links to articles below.

  3. Oh NO-no-no-no…

    Cannabist, you cant say the “pot policy provision formerly known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment” when after 3 years I FINALLY learned how to spell “Rohrabacher?!!”
    Thats some bull$#!+!
    “Pot policy provision?!”
    “Formerly known as?”
    This isnt some aliteration that died in an elevator over a synthetic heroin overdose!
    This is the one and only Republican libertarian left in Federal Congress standing up for marijuana rights, admitting he smokes while in office and preventing a government crackdown on marijuana named Dana Rohrabacher and I for one intend to keep calling the amendment by its proper name!!
    …well… I guess just learning how to spell Rohrabacher’s name properly is better than not knowing which country I just bombed; Syria or Iraq? Oh yes… Syria… who knew being President would be this hard?

  4. Yes but they missed North Dakota and several other states in the “keep your hands off medical cannabis” language.

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