Congress Extends Medical Marijuana Protections

Congress has extended a four-year-old provision barring federal interference in state medical marijuana programs as part of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed by President Trump Friday.

The spending package included the 2014 Rohrabacher-Blumenauer or Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which has now been extended through September. It prevents the Department of Justice from using federal money to prevent distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana in states that have legalized it.

Medical marijuana advocates were certainly pleased to see the provision extended, but they’re still awaiting permanent changes at the federal level. Even the amendment’s co-author said the inclusion was of little consolation.

“While I’m glad that our medical marijuana protections are included, there is nothing to celebrate since Congress only maintained the status quo,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “These protections have been law since 2014. This matter should be settled once and for all. Poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans, across every party, strongly favor the right to use medical marijuana.”

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