President Obama signed into law Wednesday morning a massive national spending bill which includes a provision to prevent the federal government from interfering with state-sanctioned medical cannabis and hemp research programs. The proposal was approved Saturday by the U.S. Senate, a day after the measure was passed by the House of Representatives.
The proposal defunds medical cannabis raids by prohibiting the Department of Justice from spending any resources enforcing federal cannabis laws in states that have legalized the plant for medical purposes. A separate provision in the spending bill prohibits the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from interfering with state-authorized hemp research programs.
The signing of this legislation marks a historic shift in federal cannabis policies. Although the move doesn’t legalize medical cannabis or hemp, it’s still a massive step in the right direction, and is a move which will prevent countless raids from occurring on medical cannabis facilities.