In the new federal spending bill, Congress will decide whether to include an amendment that would prevent Attorney General Jeff Sessions from prosecuting medical marijuana businesses. This amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr click for more Amendment, bars the Department of Justice from spending money on marijuana in states that have legalized marijuana. Congress must vote on this amendment every year. However, it will take another two weeks before it becomes law.
The spending bill also renews federal restrictions on the use of federal funds to interfere with state medical marijuana programs. It also prevents the Department of Justice from targeting patients and providers of the drug. The bill was initially approved in 2014, but must be renewed in the FY2019 federal spending bill. After the Senate passed the bill, the Department of Justice has until the end of June to decide if it will enforce this policy in the states.
This massive spending bill includes language that prevents the DOJ from prosecuting medical marijuana programs in states that have legalized it. The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment has been included in federal spending bills since 2014. However, the new bill does not protect recreational marijuana users. However, if the new spending bill passes, the law will be in place until September. There is still hope that the Trump administration will sign it into law before the deadline of Friday, but that is unlikely.
While the Cole memo never intended to be a permanent solution, it did open the door for states to legalize medical marijuana. In 2013, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole issued guidance to federal prosecutors that outlined a framework auto northern lights grow for medical marijuana businesses. This memo provided states with an assurance that federal prosecutors would not target them for violating the federal law. However, Sessions has reversed the Cole memo and has not said why.
The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is an important measure in preventing federal interference in state medical marijuana laws. The amendment, which has the potential to protect medical marijuana businesses, must be reauthorized every year. However, Trump administration officials have signaled that they intend to enforce federal marijuana laws. However, the limited resources of the Department of Justice and the high revenue from the marijuana industry may discourage the DOJ from pursuing this course of action.