Early Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted to pass an amendment in the Senate Appropriations Committee, effectively stopping the feds from using taxpayer moneys to enforce federal marijuana laws against cannabis in legal and medicinal states.
The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment passed and was voted in, despite disapproval from Attorney General Jeff “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” Sessions. Initially introduced in 2014, the amendment is aimed to protect those who use cannabis medicinally. Then in the summer of 2016 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the language stops law enforcement in their tracks at any juncture of a medical marijuana venture, grower to distributor to imbiber.
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In May, Sessions drew up a letter to Congress, asking them to block the amendment, pointing to the county’s drug epidemic crisis. However, as ever, it’s not marijuana that’s the epidemic. Opioids are ravaging our country and cocaine isn’t very far behind. Both of which can be potentially lethal, while the only way pot can kill you is if a big bale of it lands on your head. Even then, you might just get a headache.
The Trump administration is behind Sessions on this one and they’re fighting hard for stricter enforcement of federal law against recreational. There are concerns that this could lead to on the ground conflict between the federal government and legalized states, but the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment gives one hope.
Battles are being won, but the war is far from over. Sessions’ stringent views on marijuana are well known and as Attorney General he may have influence, but it is Donald Trump who has been wishy washy on his cannabis stances. At June 2015’s CPAC, Trump referred to marijuana as “BAD,” but within a few months he backed it up and took a softer stance.
Earlier this year, Trump acknowledged the language of the amendment and stated, “I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Though it could be taken in a few different ways, we can only hope that he plans to let state rights stand and leave the War on Plants alone.