President Donald Trump has signed into law a spending bill that protects state medical marijuana laws.
The omnibus spending bill signed into law today by President Trump includes a provision that prevents the Department of Justice – which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – from arresting or prosecuting patients, caregivers, and businesses that are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. The bill is effective through the end of September, meaning lawmakers will need to pass a new measure before the end of the year to keep the protections in place.
The protections stem from an amendment originally sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), which was first approved by the House in May 2014. It was approved again by a larger margin in June 2015, then included in the continuing appropriations packages that have funded the federal government since October 2016. Although many cannabis advocates feared that Trump’s Administration would work to remove the medical marijuana protections, they instead have embraced it.