Bill to Stop Medical Cannabis and Hemp Raids Passes U.S. Senate, Heads to President Obama

The United States Senate senatepassed a national spending bill Saturday that includes a provision to defund medical cannabis raids. The House of Representatives approved the bill Friday, meaning the proposal now heads to President Obama, who says he will quickly sign it into law once it reaches his desk.

The provision in the spending bill which defunds medical cannabis raids prohibits 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.

Read moreBill to Stop Medical Cannabis and Hemp Raids Passes U.S. Senate, Heads to President Obama

Senate Amendment Introduced to Protect Medical Cannabis States

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, filed an amendment in the Senate today that would protect states that havecannasymbol1 or are implementing medical cannabis programs from federal intrusion. The amendment would also protect patients and physicians in medical cannabis states from federal prosecution.

The amendment, Amendment 3630, was added to a federal jobs bill currently being discussed on the Senate floor. It would allow states to enact and implement laws that “authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use”, without fear of prosecution.

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United States Senate Votes to Legalize Hemp Research

The U.S. Senate has given approval to a national farms bill which includes a provision that legalizes hemp research. The bill has already been passed by the House of Representatives, and nowhemp heads to President Obama for final consideration.

”By including language easing restrictions on industrial hemp in states where it is legal, Congress sends an important message that we are ready to examine hemp in a more appropriate way”, says Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who helped author the amendment.

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Supports Medical Cannabis Legalization

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has come out in favor of legalizing cannabis for medical reasons, saying that his stance on the issue has evolved throughout the years.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada.
Senator Reid of Nevada.

“If you’d asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer — I would have said no”, Senator Reid said in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, which was published earlier today. “But I can’t say that anymore. I think we need to take a real close look at this. I think that there’s some medical reasons for marijuana.”

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