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How Medical Marijuana Will Be Affected By Sessions' Marijuana Decision

Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he is going to rescind the Cole Memo, a Department of Justice policy that told prosecutors to leave legal marijuana states alone. The decision was met with a lot of opposition and scorn, and very little support. But the big question is how will states with medical marijuana laws be affected by the decision?

The answer is not clear.

The Atlantic ran an article about the situation. According to the experts they spoke to, Sessions and the DOJ's main focus will be states with recreational marijuana laws, and that medical marijuana states would be a secondary concern. Of course, that's partly because they're not allowed to touch medical marijuana states. The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment prohibits the DOJ from using its resources to prosecute medicinal cannabis cases in states where it's legal.

However, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment has been on shaky ground the past few months. It was originally set to expire in September, but was extended when Congress agreed to a temporary spending bill. Another temporary bill in December extended the amendment to January 19th, where Congress will again need to pass another government spending bill. 

A long-term government funding bill would obviously be good news for the amendment, assuming it's included as it was in the previous two compromises. But another temporary bill would only continue the uncertain status of the medical marijuana industry.

So in short, the medical marijuana industry is probably safe as long as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is in place. But considering the amendment's on shaky ground as well, nothing is set in stone.

(h/t The Atlantic)


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