One of the largest issues in the world of legal cannabis has continued to be the legalization on a national level in the U.S. Medical marijuana patients and businesses will now have continuous protection from any legislation put forth not in favor of cannabis by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Under a new law that is noted as “must pass”, the world of cannabis may be getting simpler in the near future.
The policy itself is not very new, and has been around since 2014. The law effectively bars the U.S. Department of Justice from spending any money to interfere with individual state laws on cannabis for medical purposes. Sessions recently asked Congress and the House to block the continuance of this bill, but they seem to be following just the opposite of that.
The bill states quite transparently that, “none of the funds made available under this Act to the Department of Justice may be used with respect to any of the states, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” The bill is expected to be voted upon as soon as this Thursday, towards the end of March, and the outcome does seem to be quite favorable thus far. The bill will also help to shield state industrial hemp research programs from interference on a federal level. The ban also extends to a current law in place in Washington D.C. that allows the use of funds to legalize and regulate the sale of various marijuana products and sales.
Many members of Congress and the Senate have been working to approve this medical marijuana protection for the fiscal year of 2019 and it may be coming sooner than they thought. Sixty-two lawmakers recently signed a letter stating that, “we believe such a policy is not only consistent with the wishes of a bipartisan majority of the members of the House, but also with the wishes of the American people.” Back in early January of this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions chose to rescind an Obama-era piece of legislation that cleared the way for states to make their own laws regarding marijuana. This was seen as a major step backward for the cannabis industry, and the effects of this are still being seen today.
Some members of Congress have stated that there should be even more protections for the marijuana industry. This could see the addition of new provisions protecting state marijuana laws, which includes recreational use and businesses from legislation on a federal level. The letter continued to state that, “We are concerned about the Department of Justice enforcing federal marijuana law in a way that blocks implementation of marijuana reform laws in those states that have passed such reforms.The issue at hand is whether the federal government’s marijuana policy violates the principles of federalism and the Tenth Amendment. Consistent with those principles, we believe that states ought to retain jurisdiction over most criminal justice matters within their borders. This is how the Founders intended our system to function.”
Given that the majority of the public would like to see legislation in favor of cannabis, it seems quite asinine to see leaders block this type of lawmaking. As we move toward the future market of marijuana, it seems like the majority of individuals are continuing the fight to finally end prohibition of cannabis. The hopes are high that the next few years will continue to be bright for the marijuana industry.