Hidden away deep in the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a clause that stops the federal government’s banning of medical marijuana which is a huge change regarding drug policies.

The bill was passed over the weekend, and this is the first time that Congress has approved of a nationwide legislation supported by cannabis reformers. This stops about twenty years of strain between states and the government over medical marijuana. Now, because of the bill, states that have legalized medical marijuana do not need to fear that the Drug Enforcement Administration will come in raiding their stores; agents are no longer allowed to do so.

The Obama administration has followed that rule since last year as policy, but now, the measure approved the spending bill, which Obama will sign sometime this week, will make it an actual law. Marijuana reformers have encouraged Congress to support the administration’s policy, which they said could easily be changed depending on who comes into office next year.

Also, from the point of view of activists, Congress’ decision showed that there is a new association in marijuana politics; Republicans are actually beginning to support states’ rights to allow the use of marijuana, a drug that the federal government considers to be just as dangerous as heroin.

“This is a victory for so many,” said Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, the measure’s co-author. According to him, the approval represents “the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana.”

At the moment, thirty-two states including the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana or its extracts in order to treat illnesses, which began in the 1990s. Even two decades ago, some stated were supportive of decriminalization. However, since that time, the medical marijuana movement has taken a huge leap. The Drug Enforcement Administration still considers marijuana of the most dangerous drugs with no medical benefits.

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  1. It sure would be nice if the writer had included the link to the “new law”. Or at least the name of the new law, so we can look it up ourselves.

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