Written by Kenzo
A crucial amendment measure for the 2018 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill was advanced by the Senate Appropriations Committee last Thursday. Despite recent efforts by Attorney General Sessions’ to lift the Department of Justice budget restrictions to enforce federal marijuana laws, the House and Senate leadership have approved the crucial amendment that will continue the Obama-era directive which limited the interference of the DEA and federal agencies from the development and enforcement of cannabis laws established at the state level.
“The federal government can’t investigate everything and shouldn’t, and I don’t want them pursuing medical marijuana patients who are following state law,” said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont). “We have more important things for the DOJ to do than tracking down doctors or epileptics using medical marijuana legally in their state.”
Although the movement continues to be held in a precarious state under the current administration, there seems to be a bipartisan view on the positive impacts of cannabis reform. “The number of states that are legalizing at least the medical use of cannabis is overwhelming now. Public opinion has always spoken on this issue.” said Senator Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) “I think people will listen to their own constituents rather than Sessions” Dana added.
Continued protection of medical cannabis patients and caregivers have led many states and their respective government officials to develop a bipartisan policy to be exercised at the state level. Now that the majority of states* have implemented medical marijuana laws, the tides may have shifted to expose the inaccurate rhetoric that has plagued the plant with negative stigmas. The debate is continuing to take place and the cannabis community's voice is being heard.
Amidst non-circumstantial evidence attempting to tie cannabis to the 'historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime', opposition suggests that “if Congress wants to tell the DOJ to stop enforcing the medical marijuana laws, then it should change the authorization within the Judiciary Committee, not through an appropriations provision.” said Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alas.)
Cannabis heals; be the change.
*29 states + District of Columbia [Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia & District of Columbia]