Congress to Vote on Protecting State Cannabis Programs

Congress will be voting on a proposal that would protect currently existing cannabis programs across the U.S.

A proposed, bipartisan amendment from the House Rules Committee was presented on July 28. If passed, it would create protections for existing state cannabis programs, as well as any tribal medical cannabis programs. It also specifically bars the Justice Department from meddling in medical cannabis-related affairs. Currently, only the annual renewal of limited protections for cannabis programs exists (it was originally passed in 2014 as a part of the omnibus spending bill). The exact timeframe of this discussion is currently unknown. 

The proposal is led by Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Tom McClintock, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Barbara Lee. Together, they published a joint “Dear Colleague” memo a week ago in regards to their proposed appropriations revision. In the memo, they summarized their hopes to add “language preventing the Department of Justice from using any funds appropriated by Congress to enforce federal laws regarding activities that are legal under state, territorial, or tribal law with regard to marijuana, regardless of whether the marijuana laws are recreational or medicinal.”

Blumenauer, a longtime and steadfast supporter of cannabis reform, spoke on July 26 about the changing landscape of cannabis and

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