BRUCE BARCOTT, deputy director of Leafly
July 27, 2017

The Senate Appropriations approved an amendment to shield state health-related marijuana sufferers this morning, delivering a setback to Lawyer Basic Jeff Sessions. In May well, Sessions delivered a letter to Congress specifically requesting that leaders reject that price range amendment, recognized as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

The amendment, led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), passed in a voice vote with robust Republican assistance. For the duration of the hearing, Leahy stated this in assistance of the amendment:

“29 states and the District of Columbia have decided it is much more humane to regulate health-related marijuana than to criminalize it. Pretty much each and every state—46 appropriate now, and counting—regulate the use of a marijuana derivative that is employed to treat epilepsy and other uncommon health-related circumstances. I believe just about each and every member on this committee represents a state with sufferers who would be protected below this amendment. The federal government cannot investigate anything. And shouldn’t. And I do not want them spending cash pursuing health-related marijuana sufferers who are following state law, no matter whether they’re an epileptic or what ever they may be.”

The amendment, initially recognized as Rohrabacher-Farr, has been adopted by Congress by way of budgetary actions each and every year due to the fact 2014. It prevents the Division of Justice from applying any funds to undermine state health-related marijuana laws. The Justice Division is the parent agency of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) it also oversees federal prosecutors about the nation.

The amendment nevertheless should pass as aspect of the final appropriations bill, but the Appropriations Committee vote is noticed as a robust signal that Republican leaders are dismissing Sessions’ request.

Michael Collins, deputy director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s workplace of national affairs, referred to as the vote “a enormous win for the marijuana reform movement.” In the face of stress from the Trump Administration, Collins stated, “the Senate has opted to block Jeff Sessions from interfering with any health-related marijuana law.”