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Congress Blocks Sessions from Going After Medical Marijuana States

Sessions Marijuana Law

Anti-marijuana U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions just received a big punch. Congress just blocked the Justice Department from using funds to interfere with states’ medical marijuana programs.

The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment lets states carry on as they were when it comes to medical marijuana, according to The Huffington Post. Congress has included this provision in every budget since 2014.

The budget’s provision regarding medical marijuana reads:

“None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Although Sessions has implied he wants to step up enforcement against marijuana, Congress isn’t going to allow it.

In February, Sessions said, “States, they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say that it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.”

Jeffrey Zucker is pleased with lawmakers sticking up for states’ rights. He said, “Medical cannabis patients in the U.S. can rest easy knowing they won’t have to return to the black market to acquire their medicine. Operators can relax a bit knowing their hard work isn’t for naught and their employees’ jobs are safe.”

Sessions does, however, still have a choice to go after states with legalized recreational marijuana. They aren’t protected by the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment.

Zucker also said, “While this is great as a continuing step, it’s more important for activists and the industry to remain vigilant and getting cannabis federally unscheduled and truly ending the prohibition of this medicinal plant.”