The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment July 30 that protects state-legal cannabis businesses from federal intervention.
The amendment, included in a Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, bars the Department of Justice from using taxpayer funds to enforce federal anti-cannabis laws in U.S. states that have legalized medical and/or adult-use cannabis.
“This is the most significant vote on marijuana policy reform that the House of Representatives has taken this year,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said in a public statement. “The importance of this bipartisan vote cannot be overstated as today, nearly one in four Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute. It is time for Congress to acknowledge this reality and retain these protections in the final spending bill.”
Since 2014, Congress has passed annual spending bills that included the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which protected state-licensed medical cannabis businesses from federal law enforcement.
Now, the provision has become into the Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee amendment, which extends these protections to state-licensed adult-use cannabis businesses.
“The next logical step for House leadership is to bring legislation to the floor to end prohibition and demonstrate to the American people that the era of marijuana criminalization is drawing to a close,” Strekal said.