Congress Passes Three Month Budget Continuation – Marijuana Protections Included

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director September 11, 2017

    3410000930_95fc2866fa_zIn a quick deal between President Trump and Congress, a three-month budget continuing resolution will be in effect until December 8, 2017, maintaining current spending levels.

    While this seems mundane (it is), it is important for marijuana policy because it guarantees a temporary extension of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer protections for lawful medical marijuana programs from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    In context, this comes on the heels of the House Rules Committee, led by prohibitionist Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX), blocking multiple amendments related to marijuana from receiving consideration by the full House earlier this week, thus ending their consideration for the 2018 House CJS Appropriates bill.

    Amendments included: ending the federal incentive to revoke drivers licenses from those charged with marijuana offenses; protections for states that have implemented hemp programs; a reduction in funding for the DEA’s cannabis eradication program; expanded access to researchersprotections for banks to provide services to marijuana businesses; allowing the District of Columbia to implement adult-use sales, and expanded protections to the eight states that have outright legalized marijuana.

    Most notably, Chairman Pete Sessions also blocked the amendment offered by Representatives Dana RohrabacherEarl Blumenauer, and other allies in the House This language has been included in budgets since 2014, with language maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

    Eariler this year, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) successfully offered and passed the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment in the Senate Appropriations Committee, meaning that the language will be considered in a conference committee regardless of the fact that the full House was denied the opportunity to express it’s support for the 30 states which have legalized medical marijuana and 16 states that have authorized CBD oil access.

    The fight is still to come, and you can send a message to your elected officials about the need to include this in the budget process here by clicking here. 


    34 responses to “Congress Passes Three Month Budget Continuation – Marijuana Protections Included”

    1. Julian says:

      The irony here is dramatic. Trump needs money for his wall because

      A: Mexicans are not going to pay for it;

      B: Trumps Big Oil backers only want the wall to use our tax dollars to build expensive roads through the desert mountains for their pipelines to reach the Mexican Eagle Ford and

      C: Prohibitionist criminals in Congress like Rep. Pete Sessions and Sen. John Cornyn can leverage DACA with more border security when we learned from Bush’s post 911 10,000 member surge in Border Patrol that what we really get are bored, easily corrupted border agents that increase illegal trafficking.

      So Trump’s whole Ansligeresque border policy to blame Mexicans for our made-to-fail drug policy was really about using our tax dollars to increase illegal trafficking, maintain prohibition and make very bad prohibitionists and polluters leach off our economy.

      The silver lining? We leverage the $#!+ out of every single amendment Sessions blocked with the Debt Ceiling and dont let up on our Congressman until its done! Lobby in person. Attend town halls. Call. Click on the Act link. Every day until December… the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is is an epic battle line for the sustained existence of our right to whole plant medicine and the right to grow our own safe and effective food and medicine. Act now!

    2. Matt says:

      After Pete Sessions, thank goodness! 😀 Also, remember all, 9/11, pray, too, for Mexico afer the quake, and the hurricane victims!

      I feared the worst after what happened in Texas. Feared Sessions would start his crackdown.

      Back on, later. Have been away for awhile, I know.


    3. Matt says:

      and let’s keep fighting BACK! California also comes online in Jan, which will make it even harder for Jeff Sessions!


    4. Julian says:

      Now that were tying marijuana amendments to the debt ceiling budget in December, and I sit in shock after all my research on cannabis patenting and prohibionist agendas from manufacturers of herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizer industries, I decided to give myself time to absorb all this information and research an easily overlooked piece of very good news in marijuana reform:


      For the first time ever Germany is polling in favor of marijuana legalization at %57! Switzerland now has a 2/3 majority in favor of legal reform.

      To put this into perspective, 21 years ago before California became the first state to legalize mmj, Germany and the United States were two of the most violent nations with prohibition on the books in terms of incarceration and prosecution.

      A great part of the reason why more of our Germanic tribes are waking (and baking) to the sacred herb is marijuana tourism here in the States and marijuana-friendly Americans traveling abroad.

      I was in Switzerland last year and had some interesting conversations about legalization of marijuana with some new friends my wife and I made. One MJ conversation started after some dudes in long uncombed hair and what appeared to be long kilts walked across the street. My friend Jay was driving and he said “They are our Swiss hippies.” He went on to say “We used to look down on them for sleeping from home to home and doing drugs.” “And now?” I asked. “Now we respect them because sometimes theyre the only ones with any weed.”

    5. Mark Mitcham says:

      Lots of good people in CO not taking this seriously enough. They say the industry is too entrenched to be removed by Sessions, too much money involved.

      But that’s like saying “I’m too rich to rob.” That is not logical! They don’t understand: that money is not an obstacle, it is an incentive!

      Sessions wants to kill the industry, like a big-game hunter, and hang the bloody head on the wall of his office. It will be called “forfeiture”, and there will be trophy photo-ops of DEA agents standing, heavily armed, next to massive stacks of weed and cash.

    6. Anonymous says:

      Lots of good people in CO not taking this seriously enough. They say the industry is too entrenched to be removed by Sessions, too much money involved.

      But that’s like saying “I’m too rich to rob.” That is not logical! They don’t understand: that money is not an obstacle, it is an incentive!

      Sessions wants to kill the industry, like a big-game hunter, and hang the bloody head on the wall of his office. It will be called “forfeiture”, and there will be trophy photo-ops of DEA agents standing, heavily armed, next to massive stacks of weed and cash.

    7. I’m medical cannabis and I am no longer adietabectic and off 2 other meds.

    8. Dain Bramage says:

      If Americans can’t count on their votes, they can’t legalize marijuana.

      Here’s an idea regarding election security: to ensure your vote is hackproof, have a voter option to make your own private vote PUBLIC, and a matter of PUBLIC RECORD.

      This would be strictly voluntary, of course, to avoid issues of threats or intimidation; but I think many people wear their vote on their sleeve – actually, their lapel – and would like the security of knowing that their personal vote was a matter of public record, and therefore, UN-HACKABLE. Those votes could be tallied by anybody, any time. Even if only some people chose that option, it would improve the accuracy of the vote count by some statistical measure, and on some issues, could make a big difference.

      I, and not the untrustworthy, corporate proprietary product “voting machine,” am the final authority on the confirmation of my vote on election day.

      As a strategy, why wouldn’t that work?

    9. Julian says:

      I still have a hard time comprehending just how finickly incompetent our President is… or how lucky we are the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment still stands.

      I feel like we just sailed through two hurricanes on shredded hemp canvas, zig-zagged through cannon fire between a behemoth pirate ship of powerful Republicans and a badly wounded Democratic frigate still bearing our tattered flag… then watched the dreaded pirate Captain “youre-gonna-love-it” Orange shoot his own first mate Cryin Ryan… (aka Pauly wanna Koch-cracker?)… and then stab his Rear Admiral, Turtlehead McConnel (aka. Mitch the Bitch)… because he thought it would bring him better ratings after that great turn out of huddled masses from the hurricane? (WTF? He STILL thinks this is another episode of The Apprentice?!)

      If we can grow enough hemp to fix our sales off this battered island of liberty we call marijuana reform I dare say we will have triumphed (or Trumped)… through impossible odds as billionaire prohibionist armadas go into full out war with eachother as our tiny little hemp boat drifts by… because the Orange Pirate Captain proved to be as stupid as driftwood and incapable of any loyalty for calculated betrayal… only random, thoughtless treason for anyone who dares deal with his cursed ship of mutiny. And its down to the bilges for anyone who doesn’t give him good ratings… which is everyone… which means his ship is going to wreck despite the wealth that brought him to power.
      In other words, while the billionaires duke it out for the spoils of war, please click on the Act tab so we can sew our hemp sails together before they realize that marijuana reformers are jumping the big ships before they wreck!

    10. Matt says:

      Trouble in my state!


      Matthew —

      Today the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board is threatening ever patient in the state by taking a vote on a policy which could force every dispensary statewide to shutdown. Last month, this was suggested by the appointed board and some dispensaries have already shut down out of fear!


      Stand with patients and help MI Legalize 2018 offer a long term solution for Michigan and our patients.

      This meeting is critical to patients all over the state and illustrates just how hard the prohibitionists are working to deny access to medical marijuana. With your help MI Legalize 2018 can stand up for the little guy so marijuana patients and users no longer have to live in daily fear and uncertainty.
      Click here to stream today’s meeting at 12:00PM

      MI Legalize 2018 has partnered with organizations such as the Marijuana Policy Project to form the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol(CRMLA). This organization has the greatest chance of passing a meaningful and substantial marijuana market.

      Matthew, can we count on you to support this cause and see to it that this petition makes the 2018 ballot?

      Donate $42 today and help MI Legalize 2018 get petitions to our dedicated volunteers.

      Do you need petitions? Respond to this email and we will be sure to put you in touch with your local organizers and volunteers.

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