Congress’ 2017 Budget Plan Reauthorizes Protections For State Medical Cannabis Programs

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 4, 2017

    thumbs_upSpending legislation approved by Congress and signed into law reauthorizes language protecting state-sanctioned medical marijuana and industrial hemp programs.

    Specifically, Section 537 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, states that no federal funds may be appropriated to “prevent any [state] from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana..” That language, initially passed by Congress in 2014, is now known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

    A similarly worded amendment protecting state-sponsored hemp programs was also reauthorized.

    Both amendments will remain in effect until September 30, 2017, at which time members of Congress will once again need to either reauthorize the language or let the provisions expire.

    Forty-six states now recognize the therapeutic use of either cannabis or cannabidiol derived products. Thirty states recognize hemp as an industrial crop.

    Eight States regulate the adult use, production, and sale of marijuana. Non-medical, retail marijuana businesses operating in these states are not protected by these amendments and still remain vulnerable to federal interference or prosecution. In February, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer publicly said that the administration was considering engaging in “greater enforcement” of federal anti-marijuana laws in these jurisdictions.

    25 responses to “Congress’ 2017 Budget Plan Reauthorizes Protections For State Medical Cannabis Programs”

    1. Julian says:



      President Trump says:

      “Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories. I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

      Translation: “We reserve the right to crackdown, terrorize sick people and sell out to Big Pharma for the killing American citizens for profit.”

      Meanwhile Drumph will take money from the Drug Czar at NIDA and give it to prohibitionist Chris Christi so he can capitalize on the slush fund.

      Drumph’s reckless appointment of Gottlieb (FDA), Sessions (USAG) Kelley (DHS) Marino (NIDA) and whatever the Hell Christi has been commissioned to do besides sit on his @$$ and talk trash about marijuana… is placing President Obama’s Cole memos into question. Its pathetic we still have to remind Trumpsters that if it wasnt for Obama’s Cole memos to the DOJ we would not HAVE state marijuana legalization. (Reeeeesearch…)
      But much like a majority of the hot air that escapes Christi or Trump’s finasteride-puckered mouth, they are idle threats that are meant to bully their way through poorly researched negotiations. Right now we are playing a chess game through state legislatures and all eyes are on the Governor of Vermont:
      And in Texas, its up to the Chair of the Health Committee to see legislatively enacted mmj;

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