Congress Passes Spending Bill Continuing Protections for State Medical Marijuana Programs

The Justice Department will continue to be prohibited from interfering in state medical marijuana laws under the federal spending bill passed Thursday in the Senate. The bill has already passed the House, and President Trump has said he will sign it.

The legislation includes a provision that is intended to prevent the department, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, from using funds to arrest or prosecute patients, caregivers, and businesses that are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.

The provision stems from…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


MPP Responds to Reports of New Drug Czar Nominee Tom Marino

Rep. Tom Marino

The Marijuana Policy Project has issued the statement below in response to reports that Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) will be named the next director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), also known as the “drug czar.”

As a member of Congress, Marino has consistently voted against marijuana policy reform legislation.

MPP’s Robert Capecchi released the following statement in a press release:

“We are disappointed but not at all surprised to hear a marijuana prohibitionist is being…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Jared Polis: Leave cannabis regulation to the states, President Trump

Editor’s note: The Denver Post opinion pages solicited commentary from various marijuana policy and industry leaders, as well as the public, for a special cannabis-themed edition of the Sunday Perspective section the weekend before 4/20. The Cannabist will be presenting these op-eds throughout the week.


It turns out we are more the rule than the exception here in Colorado: A majority of Americans now live in an area that allows legal access to recreational or medical marijuana. You only…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


New federal bill would reschedule marijuana as Schedule III

The latest marijuana-centric bill before Congress would place cannabis as a Schedule III substance, a classification shared by Tylenol with codeine, ketamine and dronabinol.

Two Florida congressmen, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, introduced legislation Thursday that would transfer marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act from its current standing as a Schedule I substance, the strictest of the classifications.

Read the complete story at The…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Federal Lawmakers Introduce Sweeping Marijuana Policy Legislation

Legislation was introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday that would end marijuana prohibition at the federal level and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

Bills filed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, leaving states to determine their own marijuana policies, and impose federal regulations on marijuana businesses in states that choose to regulate marijuana for adult use. Wyden’s bill…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Bipartisan “Path to Marijuana Reform” bills introduced to decriminalize, protect, regulate cannabis industry

U.S. lawmakers on Thursday introduced a package of marijuana reform bills aimed at protecting and preserving existing state-based programs while laying framework for the federal regulation of cannabis.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, announced the “Path to Marijuana Reform,” a bipartisan package of three marijuana-related bills that address issues such as taxation, banking, civil forfeiture, de-scheduling, decriminalization, research, individual protections—and…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Virginia Republican rep introduces bill to end federal marijuana prohibition

A freshman Republican representative from Virginia introduced legislation this week that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana use and allow states to fully set their own course on marijuana policy.

The bill seeks to remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act and resolve the existing conflict between federal and state laws over medical or recreational use of the drug. It would not legalize the sale and use of marijuana in all 50 states – it would simply allow states…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


U.S. Rep. Jared Polis joins with congressional colleagues to create Cannabis Caucus

WASHINGTON — Marijuana now has its own official club in Congress, thanks to Colorado congressman Jared Polis and three of his colleagues.

The Boulder lawmaker on Thursday joined with fellow Democrat Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, as well as Republicans Dana Rohrabacher of California and Don Young of Alaska, in launching the Cannabis Caucus — a group dedicated to promoting and protecting the nascent industry of legalized weed.

“We’re really at the tipping point on marijuana reform,”…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


GOP Congressman Introduces ‘Respect State Marijuana Laws Act’

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday that would resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws and allow states to determine their own marijuana policies.

The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act exempts individuals and entities from certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act if they are acting in compliance with state marijuana laws. This is the third time Rohrabacher has introduced the bill. Twenty of his…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Congress Extends Budget Protecting Medical Marijuana Programs Though April

State medical marijuana patients can breathe a sigh of relief … for now. Congress just passed a spending bill that will keep the Department of Justice’s budget intact until April 28, 2017.united_states_capitol_-_west_front

This bill temporarily renews a spending provision that protects medical marijuana patients and businesses from being targeted by the DOJ as long as they follow state law.

When Trump’s pick for attorney general, anti-marijuana Senator Jeff Sessions, steps into office, he will not be able to go after lawful medical marijuana patients and entities…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


Colorado’s marijuana czar warns of possible Trump enforcement

Colorado’s top marijuana regulator is sounding the alarm bells that President-elect Donald Trump’s administration could crack down on the state’s cannabis industry, warning such a move could throw thousands out of work and shutter many businesses.

“I think there’s very good reason to be concerned,” Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s director of marijuana coordination, told the Denver CBS affiliate. “It could become an enforcement priority overnight.”

It would be impossible to make adult-use marijuana illegal in Colorado because…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Medical Marijuana Policy Roadmap: Solutions for State and Federal Law Conflicts

WASHINGTON, DC — Americans for Safe Access (ASA) on Thursday released a briefing book —“Medical Cannabis in America”— calling on Congress and the Obama Administration to end the conflict between federal and state governments on medical cannabis programs.

The report includes potential actions for President Obama to take during the lame duck session along with steps for the incoming Congress and President-elect Donald Trump.

ASA argues these suggestions would…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article…


Lawmakers want to defund DEA’s marijuana eradication program

Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post

In 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration gave $20,000 to the state of New Hampshire to eradicate marijuana plants, according to federal documents. But the Granite State’s law enforcement agencies didn’t have much luck finding any weed to pull that year – their efforts uncovered a single outdoor grow site with a grand total of 27 plants.

Do the math, and U.S. taxpayers paid $740.74 for each pot plant uprooted in New Hampshire that…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


NORML Releases Updated and Revised 2016 Congressional Scorecard

NORML Releases Updated and Revised 2016 Congressional Scorecard

Today is National Voter Registration Day and we are pleased to present this valuable voter education tool to the marijuana movement: NORML’s updated and revised 2016 Congressional Scorecard. The Scorecard is an all-encompassing database that assigns a letter grade of ‘A’ (the highest grade possible) to ‘F’ (the lowest grade possible) to members of Congress based on their comments and voting records on matters specific to marijuana policy.

KEY FINDINGS

Of the 535 members of the 114th Congress:

  • 330 members (62%) received a passing…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Federal Court Ruling Gives Hope to Medical Marijuana Patients and Providers

In a decision released on August 16, a federal court ruled that the Department of Justice cannot spend funds to prosecute medical marijuana patients and providers who are in compliance with state law.2000px-US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svg

Time Magazine reports:

The ruling comes after a 2014 Congressional law that prohibited the DOJ from interfering in state implementation of marijuana laws. That law led people being prosecuted by the federal government to seek the dismissal of their charges, arguing they were in compliance with state law. On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of…

Click Here to Continue Reading…


House Votes to Allow Veterans to Access Medical Marijuana

House Votes to Allow Veterans to Access Medical Marijuana

Amendment Will Allow VHA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Patients in Medical Marijuana States; Amendment Already Passed Senate Appropriations Committee, Will Likely Become Law Later This Year

WASHINGTON, DC – The House passed a bipartisan amendment on Thursday, 233 to 189, allowing Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The vote already passed the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, but narrowly failed in the House last year.

The…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article…


US House Approves Amendment Easing Medical Marijuana Access for Veterans

I cannot stress how much of a big deal this amendment is. The fact that the VA was prohibited from recommending cannabis as a treatment for *any* condition for our veterans, given the plethora of medical issues they’ve suffered because of combat, was an ongoing tragedy. Forcing them onto various synthetic drugs by the bucket-full is all too often a case of the cure being worse than the disease, especially for our soldiers. Our veterans have been ignored for far too long.

The most shocking statistic I’ve ever seen was in 2011. That…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article…


House Members Vote to Permit Military Veterans Access to Medical Cannabis