66 Members Of Congress Push To Protect Medical Marijuana States

Sixty-six members of Congress have thrown their support behind a bipartisan push for the continued protection of medical marijuana states.

The two congressmen behind a namesake provision for medical cannabis – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon – sent a letter this week to House and Senate leadership that was also signed by 64 of their peers. It was addressed to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

The letter called for the extension of the “Rohrabacher-Blumenauer” provision, which has been in place since 2014 and “has successfully protected patients, providers, and businesses against federal prosecution, so long as they act within the confines of their state’s medical marijuana laws.”

In total, 46 states – along with two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia – have adopted some form of medical marijuana legalization.

The provision previously known as the Rohrabacher-Farr keeps the Justice Department from pursuing prosecutions involving cannabis when a state’s medical marijuana laws have been followed.

In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested that the provision not be included in the appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018, arguing: “It would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime.”

The measure has been approved in the Senate version of the spending bill, but not the House’s.

h/t The Cannabist

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