March 22, 2018 – The federal spending bill that is currently being considered by Congress, and which must pass by Friday night to avoid a government shutdown, still includes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment that prevents funding for federal prosecution of state approved medical marijuana operations. Representative earl Blumenauer released a statement addressing the bill today:
“While I’m glad that our medical marijuana protections are included, there is nothing to celebrate since Congress only maintained the status quo. These protections have been law since 2014. This matter should be settled once and for all. Poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans, across every party, strongly favor the right to use medical marijuana.
“Instead, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is doubling down on the failed War on Drugs and Republican leadership in Congress—led by Chairman Pete Sessions—is stonewalling. They’re ignoring the will of the American people by blocking protections for state adult-use laws and cannabis banking. They even refused our veterans access to lifesaving medicine.
“Republican leadership is hopelessly out of touch, and they should be held accountable. I will not rest until Congress gets this right.”
It is important for activists to remain diligent and press for permanent changes in the federal laws so states can continue their legalization experiments where they have chosen to end the failed prohibition policies of the past. Congressman Blumenauer, whose district is in Portland, Oregon, has been a longtime advocate for federal changes to do just that. As of now, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment (formerly the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment) is the only federal law that is protecting the thousands of growers and dispensaries that operate on the front line of this battle and it remains very tenuous and is threatened with every budget proposal. Make sure you tell your congressperson to support this amendment and more permanent changes.