The Rohrabacher–Farr amendment (also known as the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer amendment) is legislation prohibiting the Justice Department from spending funds to interfere with the implementation of state medical cannabis laws.
Rohrabacher-Blumenauer is pretty plain and clear: no DOJ funds can be used to block the implementation of medical cannabis reforms in states where it has been legalized, and consumers and businesses who are in full compliance with state law are protected from federal prosecution. But that’s where the protection ends.
Many cannabis entrepreneurs make the mistake of over-hyping Rohrabacher-Blumenauer or thinking of it as an outright ban on federal action when it is not. Law enforcement departments who rely on federal funding to bust patients have simply switched to using the court system as a way to punish patients.
States that have legalized Cannabis remain under the threat of federal government shut-downs. However, States with “well-regulated” medical use Cannabis programs are safe. It’s the law as long as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is renewed each year.
The medical use of controlled substances rests with the states, which is why the State of Hawaii was able to accept the medical use of cannabis in 2000 and create a state-regulated medical use of cannabis program.
The state scheduling of cannabis as a controlled substance does not apply to the medical use of cannabis in Hawaii, because patients are able to engage in the medical use of cannabis without facing the criminal penalties associated with the unlawful acquisition, use, possession, cultivation, distribution, and transportation of a controlled substance, and because moving cannabis into a different state schedule does not alter the medical use of cannabis in Hawaii.
The federal scheduling of cannabis as a controlled substance does not apply to the medical use of cannabis in Hawaii because the medical use of cannabis in Hawaii is currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and because moving cannabis into a different federal schedule does not alter the medical use of cannabis in Hawaii.
“Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, use, distribution, or transportation of cannabis or paraphernalia relating to the administration of cannabis to alleviate the symptoms or effects of a qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition.
We recognize that the state and federal scheduling of cannabis as a controlled substance does not apply to the medical use of cannabis in Hawaii, which clarifies the finding that Hawaii’s medical use of cannabis program does not violate federal law.