Medical Marijuana Protections Temporarily Extended

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Medical marijuana patients protest during a DEA raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in Hollywood, California in 2007. (Wikimedia)

WASHINGTON, DC — President Donald Trump reached an agreement late last week with Congressional leadership to enact a three-month continuing resolution that maintains present federal spending levels and priorities through December 8, 2017.

The resolution extends medical cannabis patient protections imposed by the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment until that date.

The amendment, which has been in place since 2014, 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.”

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Congressional leadership must reauthorize this language as part of the forthcoming budget in order for the provisions to stay in effect. In July, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) offered identical language before the Senate Appropriations Committee, which approved it.

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However, House Rules Committee Chair Peter Sessions (R-TX) has refused to allow House members to vote on similar language. The provision will now be considered by House and Senate leadership when the two chambers’ appropriations bills are reconciled.

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