Department of Justice Task Force Recommends Against Attacking State Marijuana Laws

A Department of Justice task force subcommittee on marijuana policy is recommending against attacking state marijuana laws, despite many believing they would do so.

The task force –  whose recommendations are meant to inform ongoing policy decisions – asked for continued study and dialogue on the issue.

“The task force’s recommendations reflect the fact that the Dept. of Justice has more important priorities than harassing legitimate, taxpaying businesses”, says Don Myrphy, who’s the director of conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project. “In states that have approved marijuana for medical or adult use, these businesses are creating jobs, generating revenue, protecting consumers, and making their communities safer.”

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Federal Court Rules Department of Justice Must Respect State Medical Cannabis Laws

By RetuersDepartment of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice cannot spend money to prosecute federal marijuana cases if the defendants comply with state guidelines that permit the drug’s sale for medical purposes, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, comes as voters in nine more states will consider allowing the recreational use of marijuana this November.

Twenty-five U.S. states currently allow for medical marijuana. While the sale of the drug is still illegal under federal law, Congress in 2014 passed a budget rule which prohibits the DOJ from using federal funds to interfere in the implementation of state marijuana regulations.

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South Dakota Indian Tribe Set to Begin Selling Recreational Cannabis this December

The official logo of the the Flandreau Santee Sioux.
The official logo of the the Flandreau Santee Sioux.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Indian tribe, located in South Dakota, is set to begin selling recreational cannabis to anyone 21 and older this December, the first Indian tribe in the nation to do so.

“The fact that we are first doesn’t scare us,” says tribal president Anthony Reider, who’s led the tribe for five years. “The Department of Justice gave us the go-ahead, similar to what they did with the states, so we’re comfortable going with it.”

Reider is referring to a memo released in December by the U.S Department of Justice stating that Indian tribes should be free to sell and use cannabis on their own sovereign land.

Read moreSouth Dakota Indian Tribe Set to Begin Selling Recreational Cannabis this December

U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Protect State-Level Medical Cannabis Laws

medical-marijuana-symbolIn a huge victory for cannabis law reform, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted today to approve an amendment to a federal spending bill offered by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) that would protect state medical cannabis laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vote was 20 to 10.

The amendment mirrors one that passed the full House of Representatives last week with a 242 to 186 vote.

Read moreU.S. Senate Committee Votes to Protect State-Level Medical Cannabis Laws

Federal Amendment to Protect State Hemp Laws Passes U.S. House of Representatives

hempfieldIn addition to cutting the DEA’s budget and protecting state medical cannabis laws, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment to a federal appropriations bill that would prevent the government from interfering with state-sanctioned laws that allow for the cultivation of industrial hemp. The vote was 282 to 146.

The amendment, which was added to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, was introduced by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Thomas Massie (R-KY). A similar provision was passed by Congress last year, though that amendment only applied to hemp being cultivated for research purposes.

Read moreFederal Amendment to Protect State Hemp Laws Passes U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. House Votes to Prevent Government from Interfering with State Medical Cannabis Laws

usWith a 242 to 186 vote, the United States House of Representatives has approved an amendment to a federal spending bill that would prevent the federal government from interfering with state-sanctioned medical cannabis programs.

The amendment, introduced by Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Sam Farr (D-CA), was added to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. It explicitly prohibits the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from using any funding to interfere in the implementation of laws legalizing medical cannabis at the state-level.

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U.S. House to Vote on Several Amendments to Roll Back Federal War on Cannabis

houseBy Marijuana Policy Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday evening or Wednesday on several spending limitations intended to roll back the federal government’s war on marijuana.

Several marijuana-related amendments will be offered to the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill, and at least two of them would limit the manner in which funds can be spent by the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Read moreU.S. House to Vote on Several Amendments to Roll Back Federal War on Cannabis

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.

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

Bipartisan Bill to End Federal Prohibition on Medical Cannabis Filed in House of Representatives

United Statesjilly Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Don Young (R-AK) have introduced the House version of groundbreaking legislation that would legalize medical cannabis across the United States, while removing it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

A Senate version of the bill, referred to as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, was filed earlier this month by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Dean Heller (R-NV).

Read moreBipartisan Bill to End Federal Prohibition on Medical Cannabis Filed in House of Representatives

Department of Justice Working to Allow, Regulate Transactions Between Banks, Cannabis Stores

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the governors of Washington and Colorado in a phone call Thursday that the Departmentbill-gives-states-marijuana-tax-power-thcf of Justice is “actively considering” ways to explicitly allow, and regulate transactions between banks and cannabis retail outlets in states where they’re legal.

This consideration, which will come as a surprise to many, is in huge contrast to current DEA policy which warns banks against transacting with marijuana businesses.

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