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Will the House of Representatives Let Jeff Sessions Shut Down Medical Marijuana?

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


    Medical marijuana
    This week, the House Appropriations Committee released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Predictably, the bill does not include language — known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers.

    Although the amendment was reauthorized by Congress in May, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been aggressively lobbying leadership to ignore the provisions. President Trump also issued a signing statement objecting to the Rohrbacher-Blumenauer provision.

    Nonetheless, support for the Rohrbacher-Blumenauer protection amendment has only grown in recent years. House members initially passed the amendment as a budgetary rider in 2014 by a vote of 219 to 189. By the following year, 242 House members voted in support of the language.

    Yet even with bipartisan support, the text of this amendment has never been included in “the inline text” or “the base bill” of the CJS Appropriations bill. In every case of its passage, lawmakers have needed to add the language as a separate rider to the legislation and then vote on it on the floor of the House.  

    This year is no exception. Our allies in Congress anticipate a similar process to take place this fall and they are confident that we will once again be victorious — despite the best efforts of our opponents.

    Reps. Blumenauer and Rohrbacher last night in a statement:

    “The policy championed by Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher that prevents the Department of Justice from interfering in the ability of states to implement legal medical marijuana laws (previously known as “Rohrabacher-Farr”) has never been included in the base Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee Appropriations bill. Rather, in previous years, Congress has amended the base CJS bill to include these protections.

    We are exactly where we thought we would be in the legislative process and look forward to amending the underlying bill once again this year to make sure medical marijuana programs, and the patients who rely on them, are protected. Voters in states across the country have acted to legalize medical marijuana. Congress should not act against the will of the people who elected us.”

    Thirty states now permit the doctor-authorized use of medical cannabis by statute, and an additional 16 states include statutory protections for the use of CBD. It is hard to imagine a scenario where a majority of lawmakers from these jurisdictions would vote against the best interests of their constituents, given the broad and bipartisan support that the amendment has received in the past.

    It has been and will continue to be in politicians’ best interests to protect this progress and to protect voters’ freedoms from the encroachment of Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department.

    Click here to send a message to your member urging them to support the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

    Then click here to tell them to go one step further by urging them to support the newly introduced CARERS Act of 2017 which will codify these protections into law so that we no longer have to have these annual budget fights.

     

    34 Responses to “Will the House of Representatives Let Jeff Sessions Shut Down Medical Marijuana?”

    1. Overgrowem says:

      Didn’t Ryan get a rule or something in force blocking Rohrabacher/Farr from being added as an amendment this time around? If so A BIG showdown will take place and a lot of fence sitters will have to commit. I hope sessions shuts EVERYTHING down, the ensuing chaos should be more entertaining than Watergate. Jurisdictions in Colo. and perhaps elsewhere have encumbered future MJ. tax revenue to fund some decent sized projects. If there is more than a few, I would not call them civic improvements but suit catching tar babies.

    2. Julian says:

      Here’s the back story on what the Koch brothers really mean by “decriminalization.”

      http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/exposing-kochs-real-motive-reform-criminal-justice-system

      They throw their disposable income on legalization (which we’ll gladly take… their Machiavellian donations wont stop me from taking my kids to the Smithsonian and educating them on the motivations for Koch-bias of our natural history)… while the lion’s share goes to supress our minority surnamed Democratic votes in Republican Crosscheck programs and pass laws in the Farm Bill that prevent hemp from being used as biofuel or cellulose plastics in a legally regulated domestic hemp economy.

      Take the money and create legalization for public education.

    3. Julian says:

      Dude, WTH happened to my first comment? Oh well here it goes again:

      Boy thats one helluva mouthful of letters to save legal marijuana, medical or otherwise. “Rohrabacher-Blumenauer?” Does anyone have any idea how many times I had to spell that $#!+ to get it right? Coulda left it at “Rohrabacher-Farr” but NOOOOooo! …too EASY!

      I love it. Even though Sessions writes a private memo to try and stop the amendment it passes anyway and its good till September. Ha-ha-ha… And it looks like Congress will vote “yes” on it again! That’s gotta hurt ol No-regard Beauregard’s southern pride. “Well, I dee-clare. I dee-MANd satisFACtion!” We know thats how he talks when he gets all riled up from states legalizing like baby chicks hatching all over the place while Foghorn-Sessions tries to shout his Reefer Madne$$ mantra. “Well I say, I say, if ya wanna be a Drug-Warrior, son, ya gotta catch you sum DRUGS!” And bend over for CVS-Caremark at the expense of American lives targeted for deadly synthetic pharmaceuticals, apparently.

      I dont think there’s any question Congress will renew the RB amendment. (Fu€k that, Im not spelling it anymore. I won’t. Unless I write my Congressman. Thank God NORML has prescripted letters!)

      The real question is what kind of air pollutin water stealin white-collar “overcriminalization” plans are up the sleeves of the twisted likes of the Koch-Cock brothers and Roger take-a-bone-Stone sticking up for our movement?

      https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/haymaker-solving-roger-stone-dilemma

      https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/koch-network-warns-trump-failed-cannabis-fight

    4. TheOracle says:

      Sessions, if you are looking to a sign of why you should NOT do ANYTHING the cannabis community dislikes, then check out all the out-of-state license plates in Las Vegas this weekend! Everybody buying retail cannabis is going to be buying in Nevada is folks who can’t get a medical marijuana card in their state. That doesn’t even count the people who fly in and ditch it or conceal it before they fly home. A ton of California plates, and prohibitionists bitch it’s so damn easy to get a medical marijuana card in Cali.

      Trump’s poll numbers are historically low, 54% disapproval although 61% of Americans think cannabis should be legalized federally.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/06/17/trumps-poll-numbers-are-historically-awful-and-he-doesnt-even-know-it/?utm_term=.b4dded8c79a7

      https://realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/support-for-marijuana-legalization-at-all-time-high/

      Donald, you could get a bump up on your poll numbers by legalizing cannabis. Sign that Executive Order that removes the U.S. from these international agreements and remove it completely from the CSA Schedule altogether. Stretch that bit the President being able to reduce the restrictions to completely removing it from the schedule because that most certainly is a reduction.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/support-for-marijuana-legalization-at-all-time-high/

      https://reason.com/blog/2014/01/31/obama-who-evidently-has-not-read-the-con

      • Gary says:

        Didn’t candidate Trump say it was a “state issue?” Didn’t Sessions say he was for states rights? Only the states rights they agree on, that is.

        • Lauren says:

          “Standing for states rights, as long as we agree with them” should be in the official Republican platform! ???
          So should “Fighting for smaller government as long as it keeps anyone black, Latin, female, non-Christian (according to OUR definition), etc. at a disadvantage, increases inequality, benefits the wealthy and pushes the poor further down, and denies citizens any choices or rights involving any of the following: education, their own bodies (i.e.: abortion, healthcare, cannabis use, etc), who they love & marry, practice of any religion other than Christianity, being able to support & care for themselves and their families, etc,” (I don’t have a week to list all of their stipulations!) **steps down from soapbox**

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Trump is an existential threat to the marijuana legalization movement, no matter what he does or doesn’t do. Trump is not capable of being a force for good in society, because his agenda will always be hateful and violent. He WANTS to be a dictator like Putin. There is such thing as legal marijuana in a fascist society, because there is no freedom at all.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          Trump is a fascist. There is no such thing as legal marijuana under a fascist regime, because freedom itself is illegal.

    5. TheOracle says:

      If Trump and Sessions still don’t want to legalize and want to get in the way, they’re just plain stupid for not making up for dwindling federal tobacco revenues and tapping federal cannabis revenues. Hell, you were probably going to do that anyway and to give the rich a tax break, right, since that money isn’t coming from the American Wealth Care Act that you wanted to pass to give rich folk a tax cut on the backs of 22 million people losing their health care. Yeah, it’s supposed to be the American Health Care Act, and it’s supposed to be better than the ObamaCare, and everybody is supposed to have health care like you, Trump, campaigned for.

      Legalize cannabis, yeah, you can do it, because you’re The Donald. Obama didn’t do the executive order thing, but great thanks to Barry for what did happen in his administration to move closer to legalization.

      Donald, you’ve got to pick your issues that interlock to jump up in the polls: tax cut for the rich through marijuana legalization versus ObamaCare on the chopping block.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Trump and Sessions may or may not be stupid, but they certainly are fascist. There is no such thing as legal marijuana under a fascist regime, because freedom itself is illegal under a fascist regime. Waste of precious time and resources to wait and hope for help from Trump, much less mercy!

      • TheOracle says:

        What if legalization happens while Trump is in office, you know,just as the Berlin Wall happened to come down while Reagan was in office? An Executive Order is much easier, Donald.

        Sounds a bit like cannabis in North Korea, how unappealing.

        • john says:

          what ever happened to doing what the majority wants

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          @ TheOracle,

          Thank you for bringing up North Korea. This is the example I needed when I was trying to make my point about marijuana legalization under a fascist Trump dictatorship.

          Marijuana is legal in North Korea, freedom is not. Marijuana is sold and smoked openly in North Korea, is grown in home gardens for medicine, and grows in the wild. People don’t freak out at the sight of someone smoking a joint like we do here in America. They’re sane about it. But they are not free!

          Marijuana Legalization under a white-supremacist Trump dictatorship is a bad deal, and we won’t negotiate with Trump or his ass-kissing GOP enablers for anything! Period!

          We in the marijuana legalization movement must reject Trump without exception or reservation!

          EVEN IF TRUMP AND SESSIONS WERE TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA NATIONWIDE, WE WOULD STILL OPPOSE TRUMP, BECAUSE WE OPPOSE AMERICA TURNING INTO A BANANA-REPUBLIC DICTATORSHIP, IN WHICH LEGALIZATION MEANS NOTHING BECAUSE FREEDOM ITSELF IS ILLEGAL!

      • TheOracle says:

        Maybe our Overlords will keep that from happening, the Supervisor of Earth can figure out a nonviolent, procedural way to get the unmanageable senile/losing-it man out of the White House, an civil and orderly impeachment. If there is no evidence there is no evidence, so then what? I don’t know if it’s Alzheimer’s or a case of an old man’s arrested emotional and social development at that of a 16-year old. His handlers need to approach him in his times of clarity, and have someone manage his Twitter account for him. Take away his phone privileges. If it’s senility, hm, the length of time he has clarity of mind are going to become shorter, I guess.

        Megalomania, wanting to become a dictator–fascist, communist or otherwise–is madness, and the person is NOT of sound mind.

        We shouldn’t have to wait through Trump’s administration(s)for legalization to happen. It seems to me Reagan was not of sound mind in the latter part of his time, and this guy’s just got in office this past January. I mean things just still need to happen, and Congress just needs to impeach him because the country needs someone of sound mind to function in the Presidency longer than Donald has proven himself able to. Donald needs two nurses with him in his working hours at all times, in addition to Jared and Ivanka. Hey, I’m sure they could use the break. They have their own lives, and have to manage his as well.

        Congress would be doing everyone a favor by impeaching Donald Trump out of doubts of his sanity. Pence can then simply be in office when cannabis legalization happens, powerless to stop it only slow it down, but for how long? Pence is going to need a whole new White House team, and just let legal cannabis banking and de-scheduling happen. International treaties can not tell the everyman and everywoman which schedule cannabis is in. They don’t give a shit.

        • mexweed says:

          Nice friendly peaceful compromise: ask your Fed legislators to authorize a $5-Bil. payout to Trump for speedy resignation! “Here, Don, take this and create some great Private Sector jobs, whatever you like.” And he can use some of the money to hire the best co-writers on the planet to help him put out a 1084-page NYT Bestseller about his experiences in the Big Job.

          • Mark Mitcham says:

            @ mexweed,
            Good idea, but it’s too late now — Trump has already achieved the position of Dictator. Now it is just a matter of degree, the degree of absolute power which is the metric of all dictators. There’s no amount of money that could buy him off now… He already owns that money, as well as the person offering that money!

    6. Sean says:

      And to think all of this could have been avoided if Americans acted like grown ups on election day instead voting for maniacal drug warriors. Americans deep down in their heart of hearts crave the drug war. It gives Americans a sense of validation in their pathetic lives to see someone else go to jail for their sins.

      • Julian says:

        http://www.thebestdemocracymoneycanbuy.com

        The majority didnt vote for Trump in Michigan, Pennsylvania or Ohio, due to the Republican Cro$$check Program. Voter fraud may not be real but legal voter caging is REAL!

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        @ Sean,
        You are talking about “Republicans” who crave drug war, not “Americans.” Americans cherish freedom, justice, liberty, and truth. Americans hate Trump. Republicans love him. Republicans are sick in the fucking head!

    7. Pete says:

      MJ should be legal, All fedaerel tax on MJ , alcohol and tobacco should go to singl e payer healh care.

    8. Gary says:

      That would be too easy for Trump. He has to do things his way, the people be damned!

    9. clemclark says:

      I know a lot of people who voted for Trump, not one of them cast a vote for him to start drug war 2. Sessions is 40 years too late, AM radio is dead and Sessions is not Ronald Reagan. The people will simply no longer lay down and roll over to ignorance.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        @ clemclark,

        Trump voters may have been tricked by Trump. But it wouldn’t fucking matter to them anyway, even if they knew about it. They wouldn’t care.

        If Trump voters gave a shit about being tricked by Trump, wouldn’t you think that they would reject him, now that they know? But they don’t.

        I think what Trump voters were voting for is racism and bigotry. And that’s what they got.

        Ask them if they would vote for Trump again and they say yes. Ask them why, and they say “Mexicans” or “Muslims” or “Obama” (read “Blacks.”)

        This is the definition of a stupid bigot: a person willing to lose the healthcare on which their very life depends, in order to stop a non-existent invasion of “Mexican rapists.”

        No Trump voters are just that racist and stupid. They’re just fine with a new drug war, and they will die in jail for possession of a joint, if need be, if that’s what it takes to “stick it to Obama.”

        What a hateful bunch of fucking jackasses!

      • Evening Bud says:

        Clemclark,

        What Mark says is true, at least to a certain extent. I know a couple of Trump voters and they live in denial. Even here in New Mexico, when I reminded them that GOPer Gov Susanna Martinez has vetoed any attempts at MJ legalization, they simply respond that legalization is inevitable. That is what happens to your mind when you’ve watched too much Fox.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          @ Evening Bud,

          I do paint Trump voters and Republicans with a broad brush, that is true. And, there may be a few of them who support Trump, and who support marijuana legalization, and who are not racist (yet still profoundly misguided.)

          But these Republican anomalies don’t do us any good, because they cling to the other bigots regardless. They are like the kernels of corn in a turd — technically they may still be food, but ain’t nobody gonna dig them out and save them… they’re headed for the sewer, regardless! They can’t be saved.

    10. Herman says:

      The one thing Jeff Sessions can’t do is, force states to change their cannabis laws. That means in places like Oregon, for example, the local cops can’t bust you for possession, and that’s 90% of the victory.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        @ Herman,

        With all full credit and respect to NORML, we can thank MPP (Marijuana Policy Project) for that, in large part, and the state-by-state strategy for legalization they have been working since the 90’s, and even before that.

        This state-by-state strategy was an unstoppable offense against marijuana prohibition, and it got us to this point. Now, in the time of Trump, it must be our unbeatable defense as we move toward Congress.

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