On Thursday, elected officials in the House and Senate passed a stopgap-spending bill that temporarily averts a federal shutdown of the U.S. government and extends protections for state medical marijuana programs through Dec. 22.
The two-week continuing resolution (CR) was initially passed in the House 235-193 and shortly thereafter by the Senate 81-14.
Agreed-upon by the entire United States Congress and delivered to President Trump, the continuing resolution includes the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer budget amendment.
Once the temporary measure is signed by Trump, the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer budget amendment will continue to shield those states that have legalized medicinal cannabis from unwarranted prosecution by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
A relatively short reprieve, the two-week extension of the federal budget prohibits Jeff Sessions and the DOJ from spending any funds to impede or interfere with the operation or implementation of a state’s medical marijuana laws and funds the government through Dec. 22.
Ultimately pleased by the CR’s passage but concerned by the annual threat visited on medical marijuana states, Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR), issued the following press release:
“While we are pleased that these critical protections will continue, two weeks is not enough certainty for the millions of Americans who rely on medical marijuana for treatment and the businesses who serve them. As Congress works out a long-term funding bill, it must also include these protections. And ultimately, Congress must act to put an end to the cycle of uncertainty and permanently protect state medical marijuana programs—and adult use—from federal interference. The American people have spoken. It’s past time that Congress catch up.”
More about states’ rights than partisan politics, the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer budget amendment, once referred to as “Rohrabacher–Farr,” has played a critical role in protecting states that have legalized medical marijuana since 2014.
Supportive of states’ rights and the idea of federalism, an advocacy group known as the Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote a letter asking America’s congressional leaders support these critical protections.
Citing the need to “preserve a provision that has had long-standing support in Congress and among the nation’s voters,” Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, Leader Pelosi, and Leader Schumer were asked to help safeguard “our nation’s fragile principle of federalism.”
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett
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