Federal: Protect Lawful State Medical Marijuana Programs
Update 2 (1-20-2018). The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment has expired due to the shutdown of the federal government. Right now Jeff Sessions may be asking Doug Chin for a list of licensed patients engaged in federally-illegal crimes. A letter sent to Governor Ige seeking help for patients received a bizarre response from Ige’s Attorney General Doug Chin indicating support for dispensary investors, not patients.
Update 1: Congress passed a short term extension of federal funding levels, including the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, until January 16th. After this date it will expire unless renewed.
Senators must either continue to extend the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment to prevent funding Jeff Sessions or pass the McClintock-Polis amendment. If neither passes, Jeff Sessions can start sending federal agents out to shut down dispensaries and arrest patients.
4 Things Congress Can Do to Stop a Cannabis Crackdown
Sixty-nine Members Of Congress Sign Letter To Congressional Leadership
Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, 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.”
In the wake of Attorney General Jeff Sessions recent actions, it is time to expand similar protections to states that have also legalized the use and sale of marijuana to all adults now that one in five Americans resides in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute.
Known as the McClintock-Polis amendment, after Representatives Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO), the amendment would simply remove the word medical from the current Rohrabacher-Blumenauer language.
The fix would literally be that simple to give breathing room to state-lawful programs. Take Action
In a letter to Congressional leadership authors by McClintock and Polis, co-signed by 67 other Representatives from both political parties, the members call for the amendment to be included in any future spending bill.
In the one day that the letter was going around the hill, NORML members and supporters drove in nearly 5,000 messages to Congress and countless phone calls in support of their Representative signing on.
“For several years, I have introduced a bipartisan amendment with Rep. McClintock, which would prohibit the Dept. of Justice from using federal resources to interfere with legal medical and recreational marijuana activities. Now with Attorney General Sessions’ shortsighted announcement, I am thrilled to welcome nearly 70 members who are asking for the amendment to be attached to the government-funding bill,” said Rep. Polis. “It would be a temporary, but urgent and necessary fix, as I continue to push for passage of my Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would finally lift the federal prohibition on marijuana.”
Last year, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.