Congress Extends Federal Medical Marijuana Protections

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Congress Extends Federal Medical Marijuana Protections

Despite an attempt by House Republicans to block a vote, Congress has extended an amendment that protects state medical marijuana laws.

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate has once again approved an extension of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, a law giving federal protection to medical marijuana dispensaries and patients following state laws. The amendment was extended as a provision of an aid package for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The amendment – which will be extended to December 8th – prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. The amendment, without an extension, was set to expire at the end of the month.

The  Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is sponsored by Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former Representative Sam Farr (D-CA), and was first approved by the House in May 2014. It was approved again by a larger margin in June 2015, then was included in an appropriations packages that funded the federal government through to earlier  this year. In May of this year, President Trump signed an omnibus spending bill once again extending the amendment until September 30th.

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