Budget Bill Curbs Federal Medical Marijuana, Hemp Enforcement

In a deal hammered out Tuesday evening, the leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees agreed on a budget bill that includes a measure curbing Justice Department enforcement efforts in states where medical marijuana is legal. The measure, in the form of an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), passed the House back in May.

No more DEA medical marijuana raids? (justice.gov)
The bill also includes similar language barring the use of Justice Department funds to interfere with hemp research authorized under the already approved Agricultural Act of 2014.

The hemp industry hasn't responded yet, but medical marijuana supporters are pleased.

"This is great news for medical marijuana patients all across the country," said Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), one of the co-authors of the House measure. "This amendment protects patients while the federal government catches up with the views of the American people. Patients will have access to the care legal in their state without fear of federal prosecution. And our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on fighting actual crimes and not wasted going after patients."

The relevant section of the bill, Section 538, lists all the states that have some form of legalized medical marijuana and says, "None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used… to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana."

"We applaud this Congress for doing the right thing by protecting the rights of patients, and ending a years-long attack on the medical marijuana community," said Mike Liszewski, government affairs director for Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana advocacy group that has been championing the measure for years. "By approving this measure, Congress is siding with the vast majority of Americans who are calling for a change in how we enforce our federal marijuana laws."

"Congressional leaders seem to have finally gotten the message that a supermajority of Americans wants states to be able to implement sensible marijuana reforms without federal interference," said Tom Angell, executive director of Marijuana Majority. "This legislation greatly reduces the chances that costly and senseless DEA raids will come between seriously ill patients and the doctor-recommended medicine they need for relief."

If the omnibus budget bill is approved, the spending curb could well halt several pending federal criminal cases, including the case of the Kettle Falls Five, who are being prosecuted in Washington, a state where not only medical but recreational marijuana is legal, for growing medical marijuana within state guidelines. It would also severely cramp the style of the DEA, which has conducted hundreds of over-the-top aggressive raids in medical marijuana states. And it could mark an end to numerous civil asset forfeiture cases brought by US Attorneys in California against dispensaries in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and Orange County.

"We now have a solid foundation from which to establish a more comprehensive public health policy at the federal level," said ASA's Liszewski. "We're excited to be able to work with a Congress that is more in line with the will of the people, and more determined to roll up its sleeves and get things done on the issue of medical marijuana."

Before it becomes law, the budget bill must now be approved by the full House and Senate and then signed into law by President Obama. Those congressional votes are expected later this week, and there is little likelihood the bill will be defeated or that President Obama would seek to veto it.

Washington, DC
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The feds were not spending too much time on weed there

but it is good that it gets a clear decision now. Hopefully Obama will help to change the federal law about it up to 2016

sounds right...

True, most of them wouldn't lift a finger to help.  A lot of stuff got crammed into that budget bill, good bad and ugly.  And, I agree, now we need to cement our gains, one way or another.  President Obama could de-schedule cannabis by executive action, as I understand it.  That would do it!  Until such a time, keep legalizing it in the states, and eventually critical mass will be achieved, provided we minimize any backlash from the haters out there, and you know there are still a hell of a lot of them.  Drug war rages on in most of America...

FACTS TO CONSIDER ABOUT EAST

FACTS TO CONSIDER ABOUT EAST AFRICA'S DRUG EPIDEMIC THAT IS AFFECTING THE LIVES ETHIOPIAN JEWS.. 1. MS. AZEB MESFIN (FORMER PRIME MINSTER OF ETHIOPIA :MELES ZENAWI’S WIDOW) IS THE BIGGEST DEALER OF THE DRUG KHAT IN THE WORLD.  2.KHAT IS ILLEGAL IN THE CIVILSED WORLD DUE TO IT’S ADDICTIVE AND HARMFUL NATURE. 3. KHAT IS ILLEGAL IN TIGRAY WHILE THE REST OF ETHIOPIA IS THE BIGGEST CONSUMER OF KHAT IN THE REGION WHICH HELPED TIGRAY BECOME SUPERIOR OVER ALL OF ETHIOPIA. 4. DJIBOUTI GOVERNMENT OFFIICIALS AND MOST DJIBOUTI CITIZENS CANNOT FUNCTION WITHOUT THEIR DAILY FIX OF KHAT SHIPPED TO THEM FROM EFFORT AZEB MESFIN’S TPLF/EFFORT AFFILIATED BUSINESS IN EAL CARGO PLANE DAILY. 5.DJIBOUTI PEOPLE WILL SAY AND DO ANYTHING ETHIOPIA TELLS THEM TO JUST TO GET THEIR KHAT DAILY WITHOUT DELAY . FEW TIME

Weird

There's nothing here that isn't basic common sense.Which shows just how far from that we have gone during this anti cannabis anti hemp and anti drug ,prohibition.Hemp would never have been made illegal if it wasn't for the Hearst family and it's trees.Prohibition,itself is due,mostly to the work of one zealot,who's racist rants permeate the debates in congress and the senate. Like hemp,the rest of the banned drugs became that way for reasons that had everything to do with careers and nothing at all to do with health.Not to say hemp is a drug.It clearly isn't and the very things that make it so valuable are the same things that had it banned.It's all about the money.Who has it,who wants it and who has the power to get what they want.That we find ourselves having to pass laws that make it OK to raise this valuable and diverse usage plant is very weird,indeed.

Senators approve pulling money from DEA

There are many things, like the proposal to stop funding Federal raids on Medical marijuana users and suppliers.  Even if passed, you seem to have forgot that this is only good for a year (better than nothing).  Plus with the Government, you never know when it's going to raise it's head and swat a a couple of items, such as growers.  Having the Federal laws associating guns with drugs, still makes it a 10 year sentence for possession of marijuana (just a card in some cases) and a firearm.  This is written in stone.  Plus many are still sticking their heads in the sand.

I speak to many legislators every month and many don't even think there is a medicinal use for Marijuana and will not look at any information, unless produced by the Government.  Here is another federal law that muzzles the NIDA, DEA and other groups of the government:

---------

21 U.S. Code § 1703 - Appointment and duties of Director and Deputy Directors

(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 812 of this title and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that—

(A) is listed in schedule I of section 812 of this title; and
(B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

-------

I also saw NO indication that Arizona is doing anything in the Marijuana end of legislation.  Here it's still a Felony and the AG says they only prosecute after three times. Also, they can metabolite test you for Marijuana that will end up a DUI.  Anyone following this knows that these tests stay positive for about 30 days.  They should not be using a metabolite type of testing.

Many are claiming that Arizona is going to get a law to make it recreational, as Colorado and others have done, but can't find any evidence here...

 

Jack

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