Congress Provides Short-Term Extension To Medical Marijuana Protection Provisions

Washington, DC: Members of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill keeping in place existing budgetary provisions protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from federal prosecution by the Department of Justice.

The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, 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.” Congress initially enacted the provision in 2014, but it must be renewed every year.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a broad interpretation of the amendment in a ruling in August.

Federal lawmakers will revisit the FY 2017 spending appropriation after the November Election.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: