Congress Passes Three Month Budget Continuation – Marijuana Protections Included

3410000930_95fc2866fa_zIn a quick deal between President Trump and Congress, a three-month budget continuing resolution will be in effect until December 8, 2017, maintaining current spending levels.

While this seems mundane (it is), it is important for marijuana policy because it guarantees a temporary extension of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer protections for lawful medical marijuana programs from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In context, this comes on the heels of the House Rules Committee, led by prohibitionist Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX), blocking multiple amendments related to marijuana from receiving consideration by the full House earlier this week, thus ending their consideration for the 2018 House CJS Appropriates bill.

Amendments included: ending the federal incentive to revoke drivers licenses from those charged with marijuana offenses; protections for states that have implemented hemp programs; a reduction in funding for the DEA’s cannabis eradication program; expanded access to researchersprotections for banks to provide services to marijuana businesses; allowing the District of Columbia to implement adult-use sales, and expanded protections to the eight states that have outright legalized marijuana.

Most notably, Chairman Pete Sessions also blocked the amendment offered by Representatives Dana RohrabacherEarl Blumenauer, and other allies in the House This language has been included in budgets since 2014, with language maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Eariler this year, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) successfully offered and passed the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment in the Senate Appropriations Committee, meaning that the language will be considered in a conference committee regardless of the fact that the full House was denied the opportunity to express it’s support for the 30 states which have legalized medical marijuana and 16 states that have authorized CBD oil access.

The fight is still to come, and you can send a message to your elected officials about the need to include this in the budget process here by clicking here. 

 

Author: Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director

You can follow me on twitter @justinstrekal

34 thoughts

  1. The irony here is dramatic. Trump needs money for his wall because

    A: Mexicans are not going to pay for it;

    B: Trumps Big Oil backers only want the wall to use our tax dollars to build expensive roads through the desert mountains for their pipelines to reach the Mexican Eagle Ford and

    C: Prohibitionist criminals in Congress like Rep. Pete Sessions and Sen. John Cornyn can leverage DACA with more border security when we learned from Bush’s post 911 10,000 member surge in Border Patrol that what we really get are bored, easily corrupted border agents that increase illegal trafficking.

    So Trump’s whole Ansligeresque border policy to blame Mexicans for our made-to-fail drug policy was really about using our tax dollars to increase illegal trafficking, maintain prohibition and make very bad prohibitionists and polluters leach off our economy.

    The silver lining? We leverage the $#!+ out of every single amendment Sessions blocked with the Debt Ceiling and dont let up on our Congressman until its done! Lobby in person. Attend town halls. Call. Click on the Act link. Every day until December… the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is is an epic battle line for the sustained existence of our right to whole plant medicine and the right to grow our own safe and effective food and medicine. Act now!

  2. After Pete Sessions, thank goodness! 😀 Also, remember all, 9/11, pray, too, for Mexico afer the quake, and the hurricane victims!

    I feared the worst after what happened in Texas. Feared Sessions would start his crackdown.

    Back on, later. Have been away for awhile, I know.

    Matt

  3. and let’s keep fighting BACK! California also comes online in Jan, which will make it even harder for Jeff Sessions!

    Later!

  4. Now that were tying marijuana amendments to the debt ceiling budget in December, and I sit in shock after all my research on cannabis patenting and prohibionist agendas from manufacturers of herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizer industries, I decided to give myself time to absorb all this information and research an easily overlooked piece of very good news in marijuana reform:

    https://www.marijuana.com/news/2017/09/57-of-germans-support-cannabis-legalization/

    For the first time ever Germany is polling in favor of marijuana legalization at %57! Switzerland now has a 2/3 majority in favor of legal reform.

    To put this into perspective, 21 years ago before California became the first state to legalize mmj, Germany and the United States were two of the most violent nations with prohibition on the books in terms of incarceration and prosecution.

    A great part of the reason why more of our Germanic tribes are waking (and baking) to the sacred herb is marijuana tourism here in the States and marijuana-friendly Americans traveling abroad.

    I was in Switzerland last year and had some interesting conversations about legalization of marijuana with some new friends my wife and I made. One MJ conversation started after some dudes in long uncombed hair and what appeared to be long kilts walked across the street. My friend Jay was driving and he said “They are our Swiss hippies.” He went on to say “We used to look down on them for sleeping from home to home and doing drugs.” “And now?” I asked. “Now we respect them because sometimes theyre the only ones with any weed.”

  5. Lots of good people in CO not taking this seriously enough. They say the industry is too entrenched to be removed by Sessions, too much money involved.

    But that’s like saying “I’m too rich to rob.” That is not logical! They don’t understand: that money is not an obstacle, it is an incentive!

    Sessions wants to kill the industry, like a big-game hunter, and hang the bloody head on the wall of his office. It will be called “forfeiture”, and there will be trophy photo-ops of DEA agents standing, heavily armed, next to massive stacks of weed and cash.

  6. Lots of good people in CO not taking this seriously enough. They say the industry is too entrenched to be removed by Sessions, too much money involved.

    But that’s like saying “I’m too rich to rob.” That is not logical! They don’t understand: that money is not an obstacle, it is an incentive!

    Sessions wants to kill the industry, like a big-game hunter, and hang the bloody head on the wall of his office. It will be called “forfeiture”, and there will be trophy photo-ops of DEA agents standing, heavily armed, next to massive stacks of weed and cash.

  7. If Americans can’t count on their votes, they can’t legalize marijuana.

    Here’s an idea regarding election security: to ensure your vote is hackproof, have a voter option to make your own private vote PUBLIC, and a matter of PUBLIC RECORD.

    This would be strictly voluntary, of course, to avoid issues of threats or intimidation; but I think many people wear their vote on their sleeve – actually, their lapel – and would like the security of knowing that their personal vote was a matter of public record, and therefore, UN-HACKABLE. Those votes could be tallied by anybody, any time. Even if only some people chose that option, it would improve the accuracy of the vote count by some statistical measure, and on some issues, could make a big difference.

    I, and not the untrustworthy, corporate proprietary product “voting machine,” am the final authority on the confirmation of my vote on election day.

    As a strategy, why wouldn’t that work?

  8. I still have a hard time comprehending just how finickly incompetent our President is… or how lucky we are the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment still stands.

    I feel like we just sailed through two hurricanes on shredded hemp canvas, zig-zagged through cannon fire between a behemoth pirate ship of powerful Republicans and a badly wounded Democratic frigate still bearing our tattered flag… then watched the dreaded pirate Captain “youre-gonna-love-it” Orange shoot his own first mate Cryin Ryan… (aka Pauly wanna Koch-cracker?)… and then stab his Rear Admiral, Turtlehead McConnel (aka. Mitch the Bitch)… because he thought it would bring him better ratings after that great turn out of huddled masses from the hurricane? (WTF? He STILL thinks this is another episode of The Apprentice?!)

    If we can grow enough hemp to fix our sales off this battered island of liberty we call marijuana reform I dare say we will have triumphed (or Trumped)… through impossible odds as billionaire prohibionist armadas go into full out war with eachother as our tiny little hemp boat drifts by… because the Orange Pirate Captain proved to be as stupid as driftwood and incapable of any loyalty for calculated betrayal… only random, thoughtless treason for anyone who dares deal with his cursed ship of mutiny. And its down to the bilges for anyone who doesn’t give him good ratings… which is everyone… which means his ship is going to wreck despite the wealth that brought him to power.
    In other words, while the billionaires duke it out for the spoils of war, please click on the Act tab so we can sew our hemp sails together before they realize that marijuana reformers are jumping the big ships before they wreck!

  9. Trouble in my state!

    DONATE TO END THE RAIDS AND ARRESTS!

    Matthew —

    Today the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board is threatening ever patient in the state by taking a vote on a policy which could force every dispensary statewide to shutdown. Last month, this was suggested by the appointed board and some dispensaries have already shut down out of fear!

    PATIENTS ALL OVER THE STATE COULD BE LEFT WITHOUT MEDICINE FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD! 3 Months? 6 Months? A YEAR?

    Stand with patients and help MI Legalize 2018 offer a long term solution for Michigan and our patients.

    This meeting is critical to patients all over the state and illustrates just how hard the prohibitionists are working to deny access to medical marijuana. With your help MI Legalize 2018 can stand up for the little guy so marijuana patients and users no longer have to live in daily fear and uncertainty.
    Click here to stream today’s meeting at 12:00PM

    MI Legalize 2018 has partnered with organizations such as the Marijuana Policy Project to form the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol(CRMLA). This organization has the greatest chance of passing a meaningful and substantial marijuana market.

    Matthew, can we count on you to support this cause and see to it that this petition makes the 2018 ballot?

    Donate $42 today and help MI Legalize 2018 get petitions to our dedicated volunteers.

    Do you need petitions? Respond to this email and we will be sure to put you in touch with your local organizers and volunteers.

    Don’t wait another day! Join MI Legalize and the CRMLA today in our battle to end the war on marijuana!

    MI Legalize
    http://www.milegalize.com/

    Paid for with regulated funds by MI LEGALIZE 2018, PO Box 4427, East Lansing, MI 48826.

  10. A statement from Representatives Rograbacher and Blumenauer:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.weednews.co/blumenauer-and-rohrabacher-statement-on-extension-of-medical-cannabis-protections/amp/

    “While the Senate Appropriations Committee-approved version of the bill includes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, the House version of the legislation will not, due to the decision by House Rules Committee leadership to block the amendment. Blumenauer, Rohrabacher, and their allies are fighting to reverse this wrongheaded decision and include protections for state medical marijuana protections in the FY 2018 funding bills.”

    And so will we.

  11. President Trump better get his act together because if Attorney General Jeff Sessions attacks cannabis (medical, industrial hemp, and legalization). Trump will lose many conservative/moderate independent voters and support while the United States heads towards Marxism.

  12. Hi Justin.Great article.Some people combining multiple drugs because they get high on it. I’ve read an article about mixing Xanax with weed (Marijuana).They said that drowsiness,dizziness,confusion, and difficulty concentrating are side effects when Xanax mix with weed. Do you agree?

    1. @ Donna,
      Yes, I am familiar with the words “weed” and “marijuana” (cannabis.) I suggest laying off the Xanax.

  13. It’s time for the marijuana legalization community to dump Dana Rohrabacher. He’s dirty with Russia traitorous activities. We cannot afford to be in bed with these Republican traitors. This is not the path to legalization.

    1. To elaborate: The Republicans are not innocent when it comes to Trump. They picked him as their leader and they continue to enable his corruption. But Trump has taken the Republican party hostage to fascist authoritarianism. We cannot negotiate politically, as fellow Americans, with fascists.

      Are there any sane Republicans left who are not fascists, that we might negotiate with? Hard to say… Maybe. Maybe not. It’s a bad bet.

      It comes down to a mutually exclusive choice: do you support fascist authoritarianism, or do you support marijuana legalization?

      Think about this: we legalizers can cut a deal with other free Americans, Republican or not, with whom we may disagree on many things; but there is no deal we can cut with fascists that doesn’t do more harm than good.

      These Trump supporters represent a fascist agenda which renders irrelevant any apparent “gains” we might think we have made if we cut a deal with them. If we don’t cut all our ties to Trump, we will discover that we have bargained away our very right to bargain at all!

      1. We are better off fighting for our stolen rights in America, than accepting non-citizenship in Trump’s fascist Amerika (misspelling intended, I’m talking about a fascist America!)

      2. O.K., Dain, here’s my thoughts about “fascist”, “fascism” etc. The ancient latin word “fascis” meant “a torch”. Dr. Goebbels cooked up a nationwide “torchlight parade” on 9th day of 11th month (that’s right, the first “911”) 1938 and 863 synagogues were burned down.
        .
        But even that is not the biggest fascist horror– instead it is the torch known as a $iggerrette which KILLS 6,000,000 A YEAR! (2011 WHO estimate) Addicts self-glorify by “brand-ishing” a burning $ig as if it were a weapon, say a gun (as in “Gunsmoke”). If you are serious about fighting against fascism FIGHT AGAINST $IGGERETTE ADDICTION.
        .
        (And against the $ide $tream $moke which invades the trachea, lungs and bloodstream of bystanders including addictable children.)
        .
        This means if you are interested in or concerned about cannabis, FIGHT THE “JOINT”. As the Australian Department of Health said in a document, the Joint is a “Trojan horse” luring children who are momentarily without weed to try a “square”– niggotine $iggerette– which in Europe and Commonwealth countries may contain a mixture of cannabis and tobacckgo, like our “Blunt” with niggotine in the cigar-leaf wrapper.
        .
        Not kidding, the #1 Weapon Against Hot Burning Overdose Fascism is the flexdrawtube oneheater (Microdose Vapetoke Utensil)–
        edit, improve, add pictures to the free wiki article, “Make-DIY-Pipes-from-Everyday-Objects”.

      3. PS.– typo error: I meant the Joint typically contains tobacco, usually for the purpose of getting that Moroccan hashish to burn more easily. (They don’t care how much THC gets destroyed, fire is what they care about, that’s the basic definition of fascism.)

    2. Dain Bramage,
      While everyone is rightfully dumping on Rohrabacher for Russian conspiracy;

      http://youtu.be/dJPrHCCLUDg

      You go too far to say “dump Rohrabacher” on a blog where his efforts are helping legalize marijuana.

      You do realize the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is the only thing that stands between Sessions raiding medical and recreational state dispensaries? At least Congress is cutting his most questionable civil asset forfeitures without due process but that doesnt stop the ones with due process if we dont ride the R&B amendment through the debt ceiling.

      Do you realize how many Americans are getting negative coverage about Rohrabacher’s Russian connections and have no idea what the Rohrabacher-Blumenayer amendment is about? Do you think joining the dump on him before we can pass the amendment in December… before we can educate everyone on why they should call their Congressman and support the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment might be a bad strategy?

      So he’s a Putin-loving nut. Yes, thats a problem. But so are plenty of uneducated voters out there, so we need to prioritize positive education over the laws before we take down the rest of his cause.

      1. @ Julian,
        Point taken. I support pragmatic solutions, and harm reduction. I accept that it is neccessary to make political compromises with those with whom one may disagree. That’s always how I viewed Dana R…. before Trump. Now, not so sure.

        Here’s my concern: no compromise occurs without concessions. With non-Trump Republicans (assuming there is such a thing) there may be room for compromise, because they are, after all, still Americans with common mutual concerns.

        But the Trump party (T) is a traitorous party whose intentions toward America are hostile. They are fascists, for whom negotiations are nothing but a sucker ploy, a means to an end, that end being absolute power.

        What can the marijuana legalization movement offer Trump, or a Trump surrogate, that doesn’t cost us more in freedom that we gain in freedom? I can’t think of a damn thing.

        What does Dana R. want for Trump in exchange for support for marijuana legalization? Where do his loyalties truly lie?

      2. Unfortunately Dain Bramage youre talking about a Libertarian and Trump. You gotta put on a tin hat and shoot some finasteride to understand their views, which is to say, you won’t. With Trump, HE doesnt understand his views. Theyre built on impulsive rage and whatever the fuck he just watched on TV. With Dana I cant tell you what the fuck happened to him in Afghanistan that made him think the Russian government is good. They were supplying the Mujahideen with weapons to KILL him just as our CIA was doing to kill the Russians, so if you ask me there were probably some serious drugs, money and trauma involved in the development of that perspective. Hopefully marijuana will help him through that. But probably not.

        Look, Im not telling you to vote for the Putinite, just make sure his amendment gets separated from his treason when were educating voters and Congressman. The two things we got riding on Rohrabacher is that Trump might consider him an ally and he cant spell his name to keep his amendment out of the Debt Ceiling negotiations.

  14. Before I post the good news on amendment 126, (which by the time this posts everyone is probably aware of) allow me to remind readers that a good reason nothing is getting posted on this blog for several days is that we are in the midst of NORML’s National Lobbying event in D.C. which takes enormous precedent over anything we post on this blog. This means our small, overworked National NORML staff are in our Congressman’s faces lobbying for incredible surprise victories like this:

    http://hightimes.com/news/u-s-house-votes-to-curb-civil-asset-forfeiture/

    https://www.google.com/amp/thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/350353-house-votes-to-curb-asset-seizures%3famp

    Let me just say… Ho-Lee-$#!+… Hell done froze over. Ol Beauregard Sessions must be shiverin in his britches after this Congressional glove to the face.
    And the Orange-haired monster took a direct bitc#-slap to the face as well… Congressional Republicans teamed up with Democrats to reverse his reversal of an Obama executive order to cut back on asset forfeitures without due process.

    Amendment 126 cuts the DEA deepest of all, who reportedly took 24BILLION dollars in civil asset forfeitures from Americans over the last decade in the name of drug related “crime.” Except their forfeitures added up to WAY more real theft or grand theft totals in the US during the same period of time.

    I think when lobby days are over its time to adjust the NORML Congressional scorecard for sponsors of amendment 126 including Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), Ra l Labrador (R-Idaho), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.).

  15. “…regardless of the fact that the full House was denied the opportunity to express its support for the 30 states which have legalized medical marijuana and 16 states that have authorized CBD oil access.”

    Abridged means “denied the opportunity to express”. Congress shall make no law …abridging … the right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (Amendment 1).

    Compulsory process means “not denied the opportunity”. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right …to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor (Amendment 6).

  16. I am pleading, as an adult woman with MS and Severe Anxiety d/o. I am not a “pot head” seeking a high. Just a “normal” life to feel well physically and mentally. I have not been a recreational user all these years, I am 51 yo. Born again Christian and former career of working with the Mentally Challenged. I don’t want to use opiods and have successfully came off the Fentnyl patch! I’m dealing with my illness naturally as much as I am able to. Please Listen. I am a conservitive and back Mr. Trump 100%. I have faith in God and our president is doing exactly what needs to be done. I feel safe in America again. God bless us all.

    1. Bam, first of all, congratulations getting off that fentanyl patch… I suspect regular marijuana consumption helped you achieve that and will continue to help ease the symptoms of your MS.

      With that said, blatantly denying the damage our President’s reckless choices (hiring Sessions, reversing executive orders like mandatory minimums, etc). …have caused our marijuana movement is not going to help you heal, help us legalize cannabis of any kind, or even feign any negotiation with an menacingly ignorant creature who cant remember the last thing that just came out of his own mouth and hair.

      I suggest you click on the Act tab, customize your own prescripted letter and plead with your state and federal Congress to reform marijuana law. Just… yyyyknow… leave out the Trump part. (Lord knows Congress already has…)

  17. Once California comes on-line, in January 2018, it truly is “GAME OVER!” If a shutdown occurs it’ll be just prior to that date.

  18. Medical Marijuana will END/REDUCE the Opiod Epidemic! It’s the ANSWER! ASK these Opiod users and misusers. Ask people that are suffering from viable illnesses, does it work? It will, It does. Now on to a plan to have safe, mold-free, unlaced pure, clean Marijuana. I have MS, just one illness that responds to this natural plant that can be smoked but also, eaten and comsumed in so many ways. Listen to us, please, give us a chance. Pray about it.

  19. I posted a Link on here about people in Hawaii having to turn in their guns if they have a marijuana medical card. What if anything has been done to at least inform people?

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