US Senate Panel Votes to Protect State Medical Marijuana Laws

US Senate Panel Votes to Protect State Medical Marijuana Laws

WASHINGTON, DC — Thursday morning, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the FY2017 Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies Appropriations Act (CJS) to protect medical cannabis patients.

The amendment, sponsored by Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), prohibits the Depart of Justice from spending funds to interfere with state medical cannabis programs and was approved with strong bipartisan support, 21-8.

Last year, the committee approved a nearly identical amendment from Mikulski, with the only change being

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Senate Appropriations Committee Votes to Prevent DEA from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws

Senate Appropriations Committee Votes to Prevent DEA from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws

Vote Comes Just a Week After Committee Voted to Allow Veterans Administration Doctors to Recommend Marijuana to Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC — In yet another huge victory for marijuana reform, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 21 to 8 on Thursday to approve an amendment offered by Senator Mikulski (D-MD) to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Marijuana reforms are repeatedly winning votes in Congress,” said Bill Piper, Senior Director of…

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Congress Adopts Significant Drug Policy Reforms in New Spending Bill

Congress Adopts Significant Drug Policy Reforms in New Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — Congress approved a must-pass spending bill this week that includes language that stops the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice from spending money to block the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. The amendment was passed last year on a temporary basis and must be renewed this year.

“The renewal of this amendment should bring relief for medical marijuana patients and business owners,” said Michael Collins, Deputy Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “For decades Congress…

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Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Mikulski Medical Marijuana Amendment to CJS

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Mikulski Medical Marijuana Amendment to CJS

Senate Vote Reaffirms Congressional Support to End of Federal Interference In State-Level Medical Marijuana Programs

WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday, the United States Senate Appropriations Committee voted to approve the Mikulski medical marijuana amendment to the Commerce, Science, and Justice (CJS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015 by a margin of 20-10.

Senator Barbara Mikulski ‘s (D-MD) amendment to the CJS appropriations bill mirrors the legislative language of the recently passed Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment to the House of Representative CJS bill.  The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment bans the Department of Justice from spending money to prevent the…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

US Senate Committee Votes to Prohibit DOJ from Interfering in State Medical Marijuana Laws

US Senate Committee Votes to Prohibit DOJ from Interfering in State Medical Marijuana Laws

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment Thursday that mirrors one approved last week in the House; the measures are intended to prevent the Justice Department and DEA from arresting or prosecuting patients, caregivers, and businesses that are complying with state medical marijuana laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a measure 20-10 on Thursday that is intended to prevent the federal government from interfering in state medical marijuana laws.

The amendment, offered by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, prohibits the Justice Department,…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Senate Committee Votes to Stop DEA from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws

Amendment Expected to be Signed Into Law by Pres. Obama as Part of Spending Deal; Nationwide Bi-partisan Momentum for Drug Policy Reform Grows Stronger

“What we’re witnessing today are the death throes of the federal government’s war on medical marijuana,” said Michael Collins, Policy Manager at Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “Last week the House sent a resounding message to the DEA and DOJ – stop the interference and let states legalize medical marijuana. Today, the Senate echoed that message.”

After decades of inactivity on marijuana reform, the Senate has moved at lightening pace this year. In another vote today, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed by voice vote an amendment from Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) to protect state industrial hemp laws…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Senate Appropriations Committee Votes To Protect State Medical Marijuana Laws

Senate Appropriations Committee Votes To Protect State Medical Marijuana Laws

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the United States Senate Appropriations Committee voted by a margin of 2 to 1 today in favor of language limiting the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed operations that are acting in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states.

The provision was offered as an amendment by Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.

The Senate amendment mirrors language approved by the House last week in their version of the CJS bill:

“None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Take Action to Urge the US Senate to Protect State Medical Marijuana Programs

Take Action to Urge the US Senate to Protect State Medical Marijuana Programs

WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday morning, the Senate Appropriations Committee will be marking up the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which will set the budget of the Department of Justice for fiscal year 2016.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is planning on introducing an amendment with identical language to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which passed the House last week 242-186.

The Mikulski Amendment would protect the programs in 39 states with some sort of medical marijuana patient protections, including states full medical marijuana programs as well as low-THC (or so called “CBD-only”) laws.

Senator Mikulski was responsible for making sure last year’s version of the amendment survived Conference Committee to make it to the…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Medical Marijuana Patients Applaud House Reauthorization of Rohrabacher-Farr CJS Amendment

Medical Marijuana Patients Applaud House Reauthorization of Rohrabacher-Farr CJS Amendment

House Vote Would Continue Prohibition on Federal Interference in State-Level Medical Marijuana Programs in 39 States

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment to the Commerce, Science, and Justice (CJS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015 by a margin of 242 to 186.

The Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment bans the Department of Justice from spending money to prevent the implementation of state-level medical cannabis programs, removing funding…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Congress Passes 3 Amendments to Stop DEA from Undermining State Marijuana Laws

Important Victories Build on Last Night’s Votes to End DEA’s Controversial Bulk Data Collection Program, Cut DEA’s Budget

“There’s unprecedented support on both sides of the aisle for ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states set their own drug policies based on science, compassion, health, and human rights,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “The more the DEA blocks sensible reforms the more they will see their agency’s power and budget come under deeper…

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House Members Reauthorize Measure Protecting State Sanctioned Medical Marijuana Programs

House Members Reauthorize Measure Protecting State Sanctioned Medical Marijuana Programs

WASHINGTON, DC — A majority of the US House of Representatives voted Wednesday to reauthorize legislation limiting the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed individuals or operations that are acting are in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states.

House members voted 242 to 186 in favor of the amendment, offered by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Joe Heck (R-NV), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Don Young…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Federal Judge Rejects DOJ Effort to Imprison Kettle Falls Five Defendants Pending Sentencing

Federal Judge Rejects DOJ Effort to Imprison Kettle Falls Five Defendants Pending Sentencing

DOJ continues to waste tax dollars trying to lock up family of medical marijuana patients, despite acquittal of almost all charges

SPOKANE, WA — Just one week after three medical marijuana patients were acquitted by a federal jury of all but one charge stemming from the widely watched Kettle Falls Five trial, US District Court Judge Thomas Rice rejected attemptsby the Justice Department (DOJ) to imprison the defendants pending sentencing on June 10th.

Judge Rice’s ruling comes just a day after defense attorneys filed their opposition to the government’s pre-sentencing detention effort.

The DOJ remains aggressive in its attempts to lock up the three family members, filing an emergency request for detention just one day after the jury reached its verdict. Apparently unsatisfied with a…

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Remaining ‘Kettle Falls Five’ Defendants Acquitted on 4 of 5 Charges

Remaining ‘Kettle Falls Five’ Defendants Acquitted on 4 of 5 Charges

Three remaining Kettle Falls Five defendants found guilty of manufacturing less than 100 plants, likely to appeal

SPOKANE, WA — In an unexpected verdict Tuesday, the jury in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State, known as the Kettle Falls Five, acquitted the three remaining defendants of all but one charge of manufacturing less than 100 marijuana plants.

The charge carries no mandatory minimum sentence and defendants Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 56, her son Rolland Gregg, 33, and daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg, 36, remain free until sentencing on June 10th at 10am.

In a prosecution and week-long trial that cost roughly $2 million tax dollars, the Obama Administration aggressively pursued marijuana trafficking charges against a family of patients who…

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Jury Selection, Opening Statements Made in Federal Medical Marijuana Trial of Kettle Falls Five

Jury Selection, Opening Statements Made in Federal Medical Marijuana Trial of Kettle Falls Five

Three defendants still stand trial after dismissal of charges against cancer-stricken defendant, plea bargain by family friend

SPOKANE, WA — Trial began on Wednesday with jury selection and opening statements in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case against a family from eastern Washington State known as the Kettle Falls Five.

Last week, amidst mounting pressure, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed charges against defendant Larry Harvey, 71, who was recently diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Earlier this week, defendant and Harvey family friend Jason Zucker accepted a plea deal, whereby he agreed to cooperate with the prosecution by testifying against his co-defendants in exchange for a single felony conviction and a recommended sentence of 16 months.

Three…

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Trial Starts Wednesday in “Kettle Falls Five” Federal Medical Marijuana Case

Trial Starts Wednesday in “Kettle Falls Five” Federal Medical Marijuana Case

Government continues prosecution despite Congressional ban on interfering with implementation of state law

SPOKANE, WA — Trial starts Wednesday in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State known as the Kettle Falls Five. The Obama Administration is aggressively pursuing marijuana trafficking charges against a family of patients who claim to have been growing for themselves in full compliance with Washington State’s medical marijuana law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is also choosing to try them in defiance of a recent Congressional ban on DOJ interference in the implementation of state law.

Last week, the federal government agreed to dismiss charges against Larry Harvey, 71, who has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, but fought…

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Feds Drop Charges Against Larry Harvey in ‘Kettle Falls Five’ Medical Marijuana Case

Feds Drop Charges Against Larry Harvey in ‘Kettle Falls Five’ Medical Marijuana Case

Trial set to proceed next week against remaining members of the so-called “Kettle Falls Five”

SPOKANE, WA — Days before trial is scheduled to start in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case, the government dismissed charges Wednesday against Larry Harvey, 71, a defendant recently diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Harvey has been prosecuted for more than two years as part of the so-called “Kettle Falls Five” case, along with other members of his family, who will still be tried by the government as early as next week.

“I’m thankful the charges against me have been dropped so that I can focus on my battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer,” said Larry Harvey in a prepared statement. “However, if the Department of Justice truly has concerns for my well being,…

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Federal Judge to Hear Motion to Dismiss Thursday in Widely Watched Medical Marijuana Case

Federal Judge to Hear Motion to Dismiss Thursday in Widely Watched Medical Marijuana Case

Defendant Larry Harvey will argue that new Congressional measure forbids the DOJ from prosecuting his family

SPOKANE, WA — A motion to dismiss will be heard in federal court Thursday in a widely watched medical marijuana case involving a family from rural northeastern Washington State. Larry Harvey, 71, and other family members of the so-called “Kettle Falls Five” have moved for dismissal of their case, arguing that a recently enacted Congressional measure forbids the Department of Justice (DOJ) from prosecuting them.

“Prosecuting persons who may be operating in compliance with state medical marijuana laws prevents states from implementing their own laws,” reads one of the motions to dismiss written by Harvey’s attorney Robert Fischer. Harvey’s motion argues that state law…

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