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Bipartisan Letter To Congressional Leadership Urges Continued Protections For Medical Marijuana Programs

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director November 29, 2017

    Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) addresses NORML members in September, 2017

    Today, sixty-six members of Congress representing both Republicans and Democrats sent a letter to Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Leader Pelosi, and Leader Schumer urging them to maintain the federal protections for the 46 states that have implemented some form of medical cannabis programs throughout the country.

    This comes on the same day the Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference to discuss America’s opioid epidemic and made disparaging comments about marijuana.

    “We’re working on that very hard right now,” Sessions said on Wednesday. “We had meetings yesterday and talked about it at some length. It’s my view that the use of marijuana is detrimental and we should not give encouragement in any way to it. And it represents a federal violation which is in the law and is subject to being enforced, and our priorities will have to be focused on all the things and challenges that we face.”

    From Rep. Rohrabacher’s press release:

    Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) spearheaded a letter, signed by 64 other members of the House of Representatives, urging House and Senate leadership to ensure the inclusion of medical marijuana protections in any appropriations bill that funds the government beyond December 8, 2017. The provision, previously known as “Rohrabacher-Farr,” and now “Rohrabacher-Blumenauer,” bars the Department of Justice from using appropriated funds to prosecute individuals who are acting in compliance with their state’s medical marijuana laws. The provision was first signed into law in December 2014 as part of a larger spending package, and has been in force ever since.

    Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) speaking a NORML Conference

    Reps Rohrabacher and Blumenauer are both co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

    In September, President Donald Trump reached an agreement with Congressional leadership to enact a three-month continuing resolution that maintains present federal spending levels and priorities through December 8, 2017, which included the amendment that was passed in the previous session of Congress.

    Congressional leadership must reauthorize this language as part of the forthcoming budget in order for the provisions to stay in effect. In July, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) offered identical language before the Senate Appropriations Committee, which approved it. However, House Rules Committee Chair Peter Sessions (R-TX) has refused to allow House members to vote on similar language. The provision will now be considered by House and Senate leadership when the two chambers’ appropriations bills are reconciled.

    It is imperative that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment remain the law of the land and AG Sessions not be given the green-light to enact a crackdown. Click here to send a message to your federal lawmakers and urge them to speak out about the need to protect the 2 million registered medical marijuana patients throughout the country.

    51 Responses to “Bipartisan Letter To Congressional Leadership Urges Continued Protections For Medical Marijuana Programs”

    1. TheOracle says:

      Thank you!

      I sincerely hope that Congress will act on this, and do something pro-cannabis.

      Who in their right might still thinks marijuana belongs in the Schedule at all because they think that they can arrest their way out of legalizing?

      Jeff Sessions and the guy in the Oval Office definitely need adult day care, and should NOT be captaining our ship of state.

      I just don’t see how Sessions can justify eating up his budget going after cannabis, the low-hanging fruit, rather than dealing with the opioid crisis. I just can’t see Congress ballooning the DOJ’s budget for him to be able to do that. Where is all this money coming from to do a cannabusiness pogrom and force everybody out of the legal marketplace?

      • Julian says:

        Oracle,

        Jeff Sessions doesn’t genuinely believe marijuana can’t help people get off opioid addiction and save their lives; Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions is an old corporate pharmaceutical whore. He’s been taking Big Pharma’s blood money since he was elected to the US Senate.

        It’s precisely because Sessions and Trump are aware that legalized whole plant marijuana is a threat to their treasonous, murderous pharmaceutical profit that they are lying and attacking our lives, our liberties and our freedom.

        If your confused by that it only means you have a good heart. Unfortunately with the level of evil and hubris in this lethal voter supressing administration we have to wear our evil glasses and look to the Sackler and Mercer villains beyond their evil orange and elvish muppets to even imagine how treasonous the Sessions and Trump crime families truly are.

        • TheOracle says:

          Julian, you’re spot on. It can’t be otherwise for greedy yet intelligent people like Sessions and Trump. It’s all about whoring for the money from the agents of cannabis prohibition.

          They’re certainly not going to get any big money from the cartels and organized crime. The amount of money that size can’t be concealed, such as was the case with Dennis Hastert and his hush money to keep quiet about sexual allegations. If illegally gotten money from the (Mexican) cartels were to be transferred to Sessions or Trump in large amounts there’d be no concealing it once the law enforcement bloodhounds got the scent. We’ll see what the Trump-Russia investigation turns up.

          https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/28/us/dennis-hastert-sentencing.html

          Bill Weinberg’s article in High Times estimates $30 billion in cannabis money is coming out of the shadows–foreseen–meaning there are tons of big money like that flowing into the pockets of cartels and other organizations around the world, some of whom may want to do harm to western industrialized countries. Legalization lets you follow the money trail to make sure it doesn’t go to terrorists and violent criminal organizations who will use it against us.

          Reigniting the war on cannabis with a Sessions crackdown just makes no sense. Why maintain or increase the amount of money cartels and other miscreants have access to?

          https://hightimes.com/news/billion-global-cannabis-market-foreseen/

          • Julian says:

            Oracle,
            The Washington Post exposed how the Sacklers bought out all the DEA’s best lawyers to stop opioid oversale prosecutions and keep marijuana and kratom in schedule 1.

            Independent news like UnderReported World recently investigated the connections between legal pharmaceutical industries buying up land and legislators in Mexico and Colombia, as well as working with Mexican cartels to purchase the poppy that has taken over the hills and freedom of the once active resort of Acapulco.

            As a result, Mexico is one vote away in the Senate from becoming a militarized state like Myanmar, with their military trained to kill, ruled by the biggest Mexican cartel and political party PRI, acting as police. And after yesterdays tax cuts just made Deep State Afghan opium cartels and defense contractors like Eric Prince of Blackwater more powerful, and with the way the state department has been gutted into a blank check for these contractors, the U.S. could become militarized by privatizing our military. This is a real agenda from the Trump administration.

            But there is some good news;

            https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/president-trump-unhinged-because-michael-flynn-knows-everything-about-his-ties-russia-and?akid=16437.2366751.2dlhiz&rd=1&src=newsletter1085960&t=18

            Mueller now has evidence that everyone in the Trump administration… including AG Jeff Sessions… is in violation of federal law under 18 U.S. code 4, which says that failing to notify a federal judge or military authority with knowledge of a felony is punishable with three years in a federal prison. Trump, Sessions Kushner, Ivanka, and Trump Jr are in for far more than obstruction of justice when they get indicted.

            • Evening Bud says:

              Julian,

              These are weird times in which we live. It will be tragic, indeed, if Mexico becomes a military dictatorship. Hopefully, Trump will be out of office when/if that day comes, if the way he’s dealt with Kim Jong-in is any indication of the way he’ll respond.

              Regarding Mueller and the White House Rat Pack, I’d love to see ’em all “locked up.” I just hope Mueller isn’t another Patrick Fitzgerald, the Special Counsel who let Cheney and Bush and those other rats off the hook (after the media of course assured us over and over again that he was a straight-shooter). There’s a small part of me that worries that Mueller will actually do the same–tho I hope I’m wrong.

            • Julian says:

              Bud,
              Until we legalize all drugs worldwide I dont believe Mexico has any choice but to let their military take control. Cancun is about to become Alcapulco with deserted 5 star hotels. And thats from Zetas who were former military fighting the military who are all fighting to control drug supplies mainly of poppy. What ever is left of marijuana from Mexico is about to disappear when Cali legalizes in two weeks.

              I just wish the Mexican Congress didnt write the law to “quell resistance” and fail to train and pay a police force separate from the military. Its so corrupt.

              Speaking of which, thanks to the way Repubs went after Bill Clinton, they made their own bed with the laws that now protect the Mueller investigation. Jeff Sessions was then Senator talking about Clinton’s “obstruction of justice.” I bet now he’s wishing thats ALL he’s gonna get indicted with!

            • Evening Bud says:

              Julian, that’s interesting about the laws protecting the special investigator. I hadn’t realized that. Hopefully, the GOP’s tactics will come back and bite ’em.

      • Julian says:

        Your answer to where is all the money coming from for the “cannabusiness pogrom”;

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/03/cvs-agrees-to-buy-aetna-in-69-billion-deal-that-could-shake-up-health-care-industry/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_cvsaetna-147pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.bc1b56fcec8b

        Even Jeff Bezos at Amazon, (who owns the WAPO), is getting into the drug business. So despite some of the critical investigative reporting theyve been doing, this CVS/AETNA merger story reads like a commercial.

        One part of the merger con-mercial stands out;

        “Traditionally, insurers put up obstacles, such as co-pays or paperwork that needs to be submitted by a doctor, in order to make sure that medical services and drugs aren’t being misused.”

        As I mention in another post, the Sacklers and Insys Therapeutics have been buying up land in Colombia and Mexico and merging with poppy cartels there. Now merge the largest private insurers with the largest pharmacy distributor, CVS (a long time donor to Jeff Sessions who needed him to become AG to slip out of huge settlements)… and all thats left is give them a huge tax cut, then a merger with a private army of defense contractors, buy all the DEA’s best lawyers and killing for profit never got easier. As long as pesky whole plant medicine like marijuana and kratom stay illegal, that is, but thats easy with a proxy opioid-purchased Congress and administration.
        It’s a way to streamline the opioids from the poppy fields right into people’s mouths without oversight, without paying taxes, without any moral concern for the extorted, the tortured or the dead.

        Unless… we indict this administration, take voter caging to court, vote in a new Democratic Congress, legalize marijuana and stop the pill mill in its tracks.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Legalize and decriminalize the Plant,free the flower and heal the people

    3. Matt says:

      I was going to give this one a delay, but it really has me thinking.

      Health care in crisis, LGBTQ, animal rights, the tax bill, and, now we hear this, from Trump’s own AG pick, not even a month after his last hearing…this is what we hear from Jefferson Sessions, AND the opiod summit of sorts yesterday. Apparently, I was watching the wrong one.

      Write your Reps, hell, CALL your Reps. This is just more sad affirmation that Jeff Sessions and Pete are NOT going away, they WILL crack down, and they WILL hurt us very, very badly. The tax passing is a disgusting reminder of who is running the show right now. We the People should be. Time to reassert that.

      I, like all of you, perhaps, am very worried. We are staring the beast in the face. Sessions…is about to try a crack down and he is drooling at the mouth. One of the LAST bastions of our liberties from a BETTER era of progress in our country, perhaps the LAST, will be our fight, legalization for the good people who love marijuana like you and I.

      As some of my old activist friends from another movement years ago in my 20’s chanted…

      “Stand up, DON’T BE AFRAID.”
      “WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.”

      More later, I am afraid, too. Sessions and the diehard Prohibitionists do not have us cornered YET, but this is bad news. That tax bill passing poten. is NOT a good sign. The gov. shutdown is NOT in our fav.

      Jeff Sessions is DANGEROUS. We MUST stop him.

      Back later.

      Thank you, NORML, an urgent update. We have to do more than contact our legislators, though. This is not good.

      If we can secure Dec. 8th, though, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

      Let’s get there.

      Matt

      • Matt says:

        And what I said about him being “limited.”

        Remember Prohibition I.

        This is number II.

        We go underground.

        The Feds cannot win this one, no matter how much damage they do.

        The genie is out of the bottle, and the future is here.

        You cannot kill TRUTH. Legalization has already won.

        Stay strong, and have a blessed weekend.

        One week to go. Let’s do this!

        M

        • Evening Bud says:

          I agree with you Matt about the genie being out of the bottle. Just as alcohol prohibition will not be revived anytime soon, I think that the legalization of pot in the five western states (and two eastern states) will hopefully ensure legalization in all of the states. Colorado has shown that not only can legalized weed succeed, and thrive, but that it can bring with it many many benefits.

          I just read an article about Arizona. They’re losing both GOP senators after this year, and at least one GOP congressman. Perhaps there’s a good chance for Rec legalization in that usually-red state.

    4. Matt says:

      NORML…., friends…

      another link.

      Get ready. It took him months. But if we do not pull it off Dec. 8.

      Here he comes

      M

    5. Matt says:

      There, THERE HE IS:

      Full link in the secondary:

      1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzq4FMnzFMo

      2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMHeH6DlWC4

      Sessions takes questions in #2. Have to run, thank you, NORML, for the updates. While disturbing, I still maintain that Sessions has a nightmare on his hands even with funding, even with some kind of “enforcement” plan, and I think he knows it, and does not know, yet, at least, what exactly to do with/about it. I have to run, pressed for time, but

      everyone should rest assured, despite what he is saying here….not only do we have mass, majority support, good geography coverage, science, passion, businesses, so much else…Jeff Sessions can wield all the enormous powerful of the Federal Government and DOJ he wants. But, for NOW, he is TRAPPED. Even IF he gets that “massive” “substantial” Federal funding….even IT might not prove even moderately sufficient to stop us.

      You really think the Feds have the resources to completely destroy the progress legalization has made? I remain, and do so submit, to remaining, SKEPTICAL. Have to run.

      Don’t be afraid of what he is saying here.

      We STILL have the upper, higher ground. Have to run, I will check for any responses by tmmro at the latest.

      Love all of you, and don’t let this old throwback scare you. He IS limited. He can say all he wants, but even he knows he is fighting a losing war. He CAN’T WIN, folks. But we still need to fight him.

      Matt

    6. propot says:

      So, 46 states out of 50 have a form of legalized medical marijuana and it is still illegal on a federal level. It only took 36 states to end prohibition in 1933. What is wrong with this picture?

    7. Ben says:

      “Sessions: DOJ looking at ‘rational’ marijuana policy”

      This. Our voices need to impact this.

      http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/29/politics/sessions-opioid-news-conference-marijuana/index.html

      • YearofAction says:

        Ben, sort by oldest to see my comment for a simple way to have the impact that moves Congress to give Sessions a rational policy:

        http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/11/29/sessions-marijuana-enforcement-cole-memo/93540/

        • Ben says:

          much obliged.

          • Julian says:

            Yeabait wants to keep smoked marijuana outlawed. Be advised.

            • YearofAction says:

              Thanks for letting Ben reply first. Legalization of what is known as “smoked marijuana” is an ancillary motive. Its more like, free the weed to control the smoke.

        • Julian says:

          DARE I detect some trolling sarcasm, Yearbait? Do you believe Ben wouldn’t have figured out eventually on his own that your definition of marijuana wants to put poor, sick people who smoke marijuana in jail? I was just saving him some time. I wish you would do the same and join NORML in our efforts to legalize all forms of mj consumption… even if you like suppositories. Just do that in private, for fuck’s sake.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Yearofaction, I’m all for free speech. But, are you also clicking the NORML links and sending the letters? Or are you just using the NORML platform to promote your own personal pet theory? Are you pitching in on our common agenda?

          Talk or walk?

    8. Julian says:

      Done and sent.

      Don’t be afraid of disclosing personal information to our elected representatives. They work for US. Theyre not cops. Youre not writing to Officer Yanez; they make laws and NEED to hear our opinions as voting constituents of our districts.

      So Sessions says marijuana is bad at a conference on the opioid crisis on the same day that the Cannabis Caucus organizes an open letter to Congress to save the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment from expiring Dec 8th and allowing federal funds for Sessions to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries, right?

      All this on the same day Diamond Reynolds takes an $800,000 settlement (Good for her) from the city and insurance over her boyfriend’s (Philando Castille’s) murder by Officer Yanez… who paid out nothing and is “not guilty” or able to get sued again by Reynolds as per the settlement agreement. (Unfortunately for you, lifelong hostility for living or showing your face in or near any dignified community was not part of the settlement, Yanez).

      Officer Yanez was aquitted of 2 counts of manslaughter and 2 counts of endangerment to a child back in June when he testified he “smelled marijuana” from the vehicle to justify the killing.

      A bullet hole from a shot through Castille was found in the backseat inches from the 4-year-old daughter, who consoled her mother after the murder “so they won’t shooted us.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/11/29/diamond-reynolds-agrees-to-800000-settlement-stemming-from-philando-castiles-death/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_castile243pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.79c869fd3ad8

    9. Joe citizen says:

      Meditation almost killed me, the Doctor almost killed me. If it was not for one of my Doctors telling me to look into cannabis, I would probably be dead. I think it is extremely responsible for human beings to know the benefits of cannabis a lot share it with the world. It disgusts me that the federal government passes laws creating cannabis prohibition Soley because they know how much money to be made If they kept it a secret. Think of how many people have died because of this. Shouldn’t they be held accountable? I have the cure for cancer, yet I’m going to keep it to myself because I’m a greedy. This. Our veterans not getting better today need to treat their PTSD and oppression and your page because our government is too greedy to get it today. Ask the people as the people of United States if they think they’ll give an extra dollar every year for the veterans that have adequate marijuana and be healthy at the house and feed him after they’ve put your life on the line I believe you’ll find the answer to be absolutely

    10. Terry says:

      People, children need this medical marijuana. Do NOT take it away from them now.

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