Mar 26, 2018 12:20 PM

Congress To Continue State MMJ Protections Through 2018

A new Appropriations Bill must pass and be signed by Friday night in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Congress Protects Medical Marijuana From Jeff Sessions

Medical marijuana patients and businesses will continue to be protected from the long arm of pot-despising U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as a result of a new Appropriations Bill that must pass and be signed by Friday night in order to avoid a government shutdown.

The Obama-era policy, enshrined in the Cole Memo that prevents the Feds from spending money to interfere with legal MMJ states was nixed by Jeff Sessions in January.

However, a rider to that policy has been attached to an essential deal to fund the federal government's operations through the rest of Fiscal Year 2018, which ends on September 30, reported Forbes.

The latest version of the bill essentially states that, “none of the funds made available under this Act to the Department of Justice may be used with respect to any of the states…” [insert names of all legal MMJ states, including DC, Guam and Puerto Rico] to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution or possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Need we say more?

The new bill, which the House could vote on this Thursday, also continues existing provisions that shield industrial hemp research programs.

Forbes also reported that a bipartisan group of 62 Congress members, led by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), are pushing to include MMJ protections in Fiscal Year 2019 spending legislation, in an effort to stop Jeff Sessions from destroying the progress made by the thirty legal medical marijuana states and the District of Columbia.

"We believe such a policy is not only consistent with the wishes of a bipartisan majority of the members of the House, but also with the wishes of the American people," said Rohrabacher and Blumenauer in a letter.

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