U.S. Congress to Extend Federal Medical Marijuana and Hemp Protections

A $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill expected to be approved tomorrow by the U.S. House of Representatives includes a continuance of protections for state medical marijuana and hemp laws.

The spending bill, unveiled today, would prevent a government shutdown which would occur midnight on Friday if the measure (or a similar one) isn’t passed. The proposed bill would extend the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment through the end of September. The amendment, first approved in 2014, prevents the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from spending any federal funds to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the plant for medical use. The spending bill would also extend a law that protects state laws that allow hemp to be grown for research purposes.

“Glad to see it in,” says Representative  Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “Next time we’ll get more.”

Below is the full text of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment:

None of the funds made available under this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, 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.

The House is expected to approve the measure tomorrow.

About Emily Watkins 158 Articles
Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for multiple websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, and can be reached at Watkins.MarijuanaHerald@gmail.com