Just Say “No” to Taxpayer Funded Medical Marijuana Raids

Since 2014, the Department of Justice has been prohibited from using taxpayers’ funds to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states that regulate its medical use.

But that could all change this week as Congress decides how to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. 

At issue is a provision known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state…

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In the Time of Trump, Can Congress Take the Lead on Marijuana Policy?

While the marijuana community — consumers, industry, and advocates alike — eyes with trepidation the reign of avowed anti-pot Republican Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department, the Trump executive branch isn’t the only game in town when it comes to making marijuana policy. Congress is back in session, and after last November’s legalization and medical marijuana victories at the polls, the pot state delegation is larger than ever.

And at least some of those senators and…

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Week in Review: Canada’s cannabis guidelines, Ohio’s dispensary rules & MJ’s big week in DC

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By Bart Schaneman and Omar Sacirbey

A task force makes recommendations on how the Canadian government should approach legalizing recreational marijuana, Ohio writes draft rules for MMJ dispensaries, and cannabis has a big week in Washington DC.

Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

Small or big? 

Will Canada’s new adult-use marijuana market be open to small businesses – or dominated by big corporations?

Jodie Emery, a political activist and owner of Cannabis Culture, a magazine…

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Federal Marijuana Protections Extended Through April

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of Congress have re-authorized a federal provision prohibiting the Justice Department from interfering in state-authorized medical cannabis programs. The provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, was included in short-term spending legislation, House Resolution 2028, and will expire on April 28, 2017.

Initially enacted by Congress in 2014, the amendment maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing…

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Congress Provides Short-Term Extension to Medical Marijuana Protection Provisions

Congress Provides Short-Term Extension to Medical Marijuana Protection Provisions

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of Congress have approved a short-term spending bill keeping in place existing budgetary provisions protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from federal prosecution by the Department of Justice.

The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Congress initially…

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Court: Budgetary Amendment Bars Federal Prosecution of State-Compliant Medical Marijuana Providers

Court: Budgetary Amendment Bars Federal Prosecution of State-Compliant Medical Marijuana Providers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Federal officials are not permitted to engage in the criminal prosecution of those who are engaged in activity related to medical marijuana absent evidence that the defendants are in clear violation of state law, according to a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ruling broadly interprets a 2014 federal budgetary amendment prohibiting the US Justice Department from spending any funds “to prevent … states … from implementing their own state laws that authorize the…

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Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Ban on Prosecuting State-Compliant Medical Marijuana Businesses

Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Ban on Prosecuting State-Compliant Medical Marijuana Businesses

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, covering nine western states, earlier this week ruled unanimously that the Department of Justice is barred by federal law from prosecuting medical marijuana businesses if those businesses are operating in compliance with state law.

This decision came in an appeal in which the court had consolidated ten different cases from California and Washington, in which the defendants — growers and dispensaries — had argued that their federal indictments should…

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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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Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment Prevents Feds from Continuing to Shut Down California Dispensary

Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment Prevents Feds from Continuing to Shut Down California Dispensary

Ruling Undermines Department of Justice Interpretation of Congressional Restrictions On Interference With State-Legal Medical Cannabis Programs

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled that enforcement of the injunction against the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM), which has prevented the medical cannabis dispensary from engaging in business, must be consistent with the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment and therefore, was only enforceable against activity that is not allowed within state law.

The…

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Federal Court Ruling: Spending Limitation Approved in Congress Shields Medical Marijuana Patients and Providers Acting in Compliance With State Laws From Justice Dept. Actions

Federal Court Ruling: Spending Limitation Approved in Congress Shields Medical Marijuana Patients and Providers Acting in Compliance With State Laws From Justice Dept. Actions

DOJ officials had said they did not believe the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment would affect individual cases; the sponsors of the amendment disputed that claim in letters to the attorney general and a request for an inspector general investigation

WASHINGTON, DC — A federal judge ruled Monday that a budget amendment approved by Congress prevents the Department of Justice from taking action against medical marijuana patients and providers who are operating in compliance with state laws.

Northern District of California Judge Charles Breyer said…

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Federal Ruling Protects Medical Marijuana Dispensaries That Follow State Law

Federal Ruling Protects Medical Marijuana Dispensaries That Follow State Law

In Precedent-Setting Case, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer Rules Justice Department in Violation of Federal Law and Lifts Injunction Against Medical Marijuana Dispensary; Judge Cites Recent Congressional Reforms, as Support for Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Continues to Grow in Congress

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — On Monday, a federal judge lifted an injunction against one of California’s oldest medical marijuana dispensaries.  The injunction can no longer be enforced in the wake of a congressional spending amendment passed by…

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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

Congress Votes to End DEA’s Bulk Data Collection Program; Slashes Agency’s Budget

Congress Votes to End DEA’s Bulk Data Collection Program; Slashes Agency’s Budget

Four Votes Today on Stopping DEA and Justice Department from Undermining State Marijuana Laws;  Votes Come in Wake of Recent Forced Resignation of DEA Head and Growing Public Pressure to End Drug War and Mass Incarceration

WASHINGTON, DC — Legislators voted by a simple voice vote Tuesday night to end the DEA’s controversial bulk data collection programs, as part of the U.S. House of Representatives’ consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.

The House also passed three amendments that cut…

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