Pro-Medical Marijuana Provisions Survive Spending Deal Negotiations

May 1, 2017
The Hill

Capitol Hill’s marijuana advocates are cheering provisions of this week’s 2017 spending deal that protect certain states that have legalized the drug.

The agreement, finalized by top appropriators Sunday night, includes language that bars the Justice Department from blocking state implementation of medical marijuana laws.

First introduced in 2013, the marijuana provision in the omnibus spending deal was enacted in 2014. It blocks the DOJ from using any funds to prevent state laws “that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

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The omnibus bill, which Congress is expected to pass this week to prevent a government shutdown, would extend that language through September. The bill also extends another 2014 law that promotes research for industrial hemp.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), for one, is lamenting the temporary nature of those provisions, urging Congress to make them permanent.

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