Budget Bill Has A Silver Lining For Medical Marijuana States
Credit: mikecogh
December 11, 2014

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Dana Rohrbacher strikes me as someone who's partaken of a little "medical" marijuana!

Members of Congress drew the ire of Washington, D.C. residents when they inserted a rider into the budget deal that would effectively block Washington, D.C. from fully legalizing recreational marijuana.

But if the now-foundering budget deal dubbed Cromnibus or another similar one manages to pass, it will also have some much better news for marijuana advocates. Another provision added to the budget would protect medical marijuana laws in every state that has legalized it, by prohibiting the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana actors in states where their actions are legal.

Drug policy organizations are hailing the amendment. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition called it a “stunning victory.” And Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance said, “For the first time, Congress is letting states set their own medical marijuana and hemp policies, a huge step forward for sensible drug policy.”

The provision comes from a bill passed by the House of Representatives in May, with 170 Democrats and 49 Republicans in favor of the amendment to a previous appropriations bill. The measure was introduced by Republican Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (CA), whose state has borne the brunt of many medical marijuana prosecutions.

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