Congress has re-authorized a key provision protecting state medical marijuana operations from federal prosecution, providing California’s pot industry with at least a temporary reassurance that it can continue business as usual.
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Congress has re-authorized a key provision protecting state medical marijuana operations from federal prosecution—temporarily reassuring California’s pot industry that it can continue business as usual.
The $1.2 trillion spending bill approved by the Senate today that funds the federal government through September also extends the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which prohibits the Department of Justice from interfering with growers and consumers of medical cannabis.
Originally attached to the 2014 budget packaged as the better-known “Rohrabacher-Farr” amendment, the bipartisan-backed provision will have to again be re-authorized when Congress considers a new budget for the next fiscal year, which starts in October.
The amendment does not protect growers or consumers of recreational marijuana, which California legalized in November of last year.
The spending bill now awaits President Trump’s signature. Trump has signaled support for medical marijuana in the past, but has voiced mixed views on recreational use.
Trump’s pick for drug czar, GOP Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, yesterday withdrew his name from consideration for the post. Marino voted against the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment and had been critical of expanded marijuana legalization.