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Senate Committee Votes to Continue Protections for Medical Marijuana States

Senate Marijuana

A vote was taken at the Senate Appropriations Committee meeting on July 27, where they agreed to continue protections for state medical marijuana programs, thus prohibiting interference from the federal government.

There is a clause in the CJS budget for the 2018 fiscal year preventing federal resources from being used to meddle in state medical marijuana programs, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) said via press release.

In 2014, an omnibus spending bill included a similar amendment safeguarding state medical marijuana programs. The amendment was renewed, but could expire. On September 30, if a budget is not approved, the prior amendment automatically renews for another year.

Attorney General Jeff Session wanted Congress to vote the amendment down, as he stated in a letter sent in May.

There are now 29 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico that have all enacted medical marijuana laws.

In an April Quinnipiac Univeristy poll, 94-percent of U.S. voters showed support for medical marijuana. The same poll also showed that 73-percent of U.S. voters “oppose government enforcement of federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

Don Murphy, MPP Director of Conservative Outreach, said, “More than half the states have taken a stand and said they want their seriously ill residents to have safe and reliable access to medical marijuana, and today the Senate Appropriations Committee listened. What was expected to be a very successful vote passed on an overwhelming voice vote, while opposition to the Leahy amendment was literally a whimper. That sound we heard in the Senate was the sound of a waving white flag as the federal war on medical marijuana patients and providers winds down.”