Debt Deal Keeps Medical Marijuana Protections In Place – For Now

The deal struck will take the provisions safely through Dec. 8

State medical marijuana programs aren’t getting the longer-term protection advocates had sought, but the debt limit deal passed by Congress late last week will keep them safe from federal intrusion for the next three months.

Portland Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer and California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher were rebuffed earlier in the week when the House Rules Committee blocked marijuana-related provisions from an annual appropriations bill.

The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, as it’s come to be known, would bar the Department of Justice from using funds to prevent states from “implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Those protections, in place since in 2014, were extended as part of a spending bill that passed in early May but was scheduled to expire at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The surprise debt limit deal struck last week between President Donald Trump and Democratic Congressional leaders take the provisions through Dec. 8.


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