Powerful congressional panel puts medical marijuana protections in federal budget

In a historic maneuver that signifies growing support in Washington DC for medical marijuana, a key congressional committee voted Thursday to continue to protect lawful state MMJ programs from federal interference or prosecution.

The House Appropriations Committee approved, by a bipartisan voice vote, an amendment by Rep. David Joyce, an Ohio Republican and former prosecutor, to attach the medical marijuana protections to the FY2019 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill.

The provision – previously called the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment and, before that, Rohrabacher-Farr – prohibits the Justice Department from using funds to interfere with state medical marijuana programs or to prosecute MMJ businesses compliant with those state laws.

This is the first time the measure has been added to the appropriations bill in committee, all but ensuring it will go to the full House for a vote.

The amendment doesn’t offer any protections for legal state recreational marijuana programs.NORML called Thursday’s development “historic,” while the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) declared that momentum is building behind marijuana reform at the federal level.

“This is just the latest sign that support for marijuana policy reform is growing in Congress, and we’re seeing that support on both sides of the aisle,” MPP’s Don Murphy said in a statement.

“Republicans are joining with Democrats to protect compassionate state medical marijuana programs from federal interference.”

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The Source: mjbizdaily.com

 

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