U.S. Justice Department Says It Will Ignore Congress and Prosecute People for Medical Cannabis

By Drug Policy Alliance

Congress Passed One-Year Amendment in December Prohibiting Justice Department from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws; Members of both Parties Sought to Stop Prosecutions and Let States Set Their Own Medical Marijuana Policies

Adoj spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) told the Los Angeles Times that a bi-partisan amendment passed by Congress last year prohibiting DOJ from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws doesn’t prevent it from prosecuting people for medical marijuana or seizing their property. The statement comes as the agency continues to target people who are complying with their state medical marijuana law. This insubordination is occurring despite the fact that members of Congress in both parties were clear that their intent with the amendment was to protect medical marijuana patients and providers from federal prosecution and forfeiture.

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U.S. House To Vote On Budget Amendment To Defund Medical Marijuana Raids

By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

In the coming days, members of the House of Representatives are expected to debate and vote on budget appropriation legislation for the Department of Justicehouse. Representatives Rohrabacher and Farr will be introducing an amendment to this measure to prevent any of the department’s funding from being used to interfere with medical marijuana programs in states that have approved them.

Twenty-one states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington — as well as the District of Columbia have enacted laws protecting medical marijuana patients from state prosecution. Yet in all of these states, patients and providers still face the risk of federal sanction — even when their actions are fully compliant with state law.

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Members of Congress Send Letter to President Obama Urging Reformation of U.S. Cannabis Policies

A bipartisan coalition of 18 federal lawmakers sent a letter today to President Obama, urging him to put an end to cannabis prohibition by removing it as a Schedule 1 substance.images

“Dear Mr. President: We were encouraged by your recent comments in your interview with David Remnick in the January 27. 2014 issue of the New Yorker, about the shifting public opinion on the legalization of marijuana”, begins the letter. “We request that you take action to help alleviate the harms to society caused by the federal Schedule 1 classification of marijuana.”

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United States House and Senate to Vote on Legalizing Hemp Research Tomorrow

By Shadee Ashtari, HuffingtonPost.com 

A provision in the new $1.1 trillion farm bill, finalized by Congress Monday, legalizes the production of industrial hemp for research purposes and is set to move forward, pending a House18-hemp and Senate vote expected Wednesday.

The bill, which would allow universities and state agriculture departments to legally grow industrial hemp in states that permit it, challenges a long-standing ban on production under federal controlled-substances laws. Currently, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia hold such laws.

Read moreUnited States House and Senate to Vote on Legalizing Hemp Research Tomorrow