House Committee Blocks Medical Marijuana Protection Amendment

Sep 07, 2017 , , , , , , ,

An amendment that would keep the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana programs was voted “out of order” by the House Rules Committee on Wednesday, preventing the House from including it in its version of the FY 2018 federal budget.

This amendment, introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would prevent the Department of Justice from spending any resources to target medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a similar budget amendment in the Senate, which was approved in a committee voice vote in July.

In 2014, Congress passed a similar amendment to an omnibus-spending bill. This amendment was subsequently renewed, but it now stands to expire on September 30 unless the Senate version of the budget is approved in a joint House/Senate conference committee or Congress fails to pass a budget.

If the amendment is not included in the budget or carried over, the Department of Justice will have nothing to prevent it from targeting state medical marijuana programs. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly stated that he opposes marijuana being legal for any reason and in May sent a letter to Congress urging it to vote down the amendment and allow him to resume prosecuting medical marijuana providers.

MPP’s Don Murphy released the following statement:

When an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose federal interference in state medical marijuana programs, it is unconscionable not to let their Representatives vote on whether to continue this policy. Unless Congress chooses the Senate budget version, millions of seriously ill patients and the legitimate businesses that provide them with safe access to their medicine will be at risk of prosecution.

“This vote is a slap in the face of patients, their families, their elected representatives, and the 10th Amendment.

UPDATE: A federal budget deal has extended the medical marijuana protections until Dec. 8, but inclusion in the final budget for next year is still in danger.

One response to “House Committee Blocks Medical Marijuana Protection Amendment”

  1. …Sessions along with the DEA are in it only to protect big pharma and it’s massive profits. CBS cannabis is a known anti inflammatory that has zero detrimental side effects, unlike manufactured prescription medications. Addiction and overdose to prescription oipoids has resulted in an average of 10,000 or more deaths per year. In states where CBD is legal, prescription opioid use and sales have fallen. Even popular OTC meds like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and Naproxin Sodium cause serious complications including liver disease, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney failure, brain disorders, and even cardiac arrest.

    Cannabis is an herb not a drug. CBD cannabis does not produce the euphoric “high” that THC rich cannabis does.

    Meanwhile the government allows the use of alcohol and tobacco, each which are highly addictive and cause serious health and social issues as well as more deaths per year than any other substance. Drunk driving alone kills and maims thousands of innocent citizens each year. While direct subsidies ended over a decade ago, the government still partially subsidises tobacco growers though crop insurance guarantees.

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