Sessions vs The Senate: Committee Votes to Uphold MMJ Protections
National direction to protect medical marijuana advances forward.
In a direct opposition to an already embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont led the Senate Appropriations Committee to passing the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment today. The amendment protects state law-compliant medical cannabis providers from the Department of Justice.
After years of effort, the amendment originally passed in 2014. It essentially blocks the DOJ from using federal funds to take action against the many well-regulated medical cannabis distribution programs across the U.S. This protection trickles down to everyone taking part in the program, like dispensaries and cultivators, as noted last August by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court concluded unanimously the language prevents the federal government from prosecuting anyone involved in the medical marijuana without proving a clear violation of state law.
Long time pot policy watchdog Tom Angell was among the first to react to today’s big news.
“This vote is not only a blow against an outdated Reefer Madness mindset, it is a personal rebuke to Jeff Sessions,” Angell, the founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority, said. “The attorney general, in contravention of President Trump’s campaign pledges and of public opinion, specifically asked Congress to give him the power to arrest and prosecute medical marijuana patients and providers who are following state laws. A bipartisan group of his former Senate colleagues just said no. A majority of states now allow medical cannabis, and we will not allow drug warriors in the Justice Department to roll back the clock. The war on marijuana is ending, even if Jeff Sessions doesn’t realize it yet.”
The cannabis industry’s biggest voice on the hill, the National Cannabis Industry Association, also cheered the committee’s decision to continue to block funding.
Continue reading at CannabisNow.com
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