House Republicans have tried their hardest to dismantle the federal medical marijuana protections known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, blocking a vote from and putting forth their best effort to remove it from the 2018 fiscal budget. And while a heap of hurricane-fueled disaster relief funding has kept the provision on the books until the second week of December, 2017, the short term plan means Jeff Sessions and the DEA could still be raiding pot shops from Boulder to Boston by New Years.
In an effort to prevent that potentially grim future, U.S. Representatives Dana Rohrabacher and Earl Blumenauer, the co-chairs of the recently formed Congressional Cannabis Caucus, issued a press release calling for continued protection for the state-approved businesses and customers.
While the media and politicians on both sides of the aisle may still be reeling from the shock of the president’s first bipartisan agreement, the Cannabis Caucus hasn’t lost focus of its mission.
“While this action provides a measure of certainty for the millions of medical marijuana patients and the clinics and business that support them, much more needs to be done.” The press release reads. “More than 95 percent of Americans now have state-legal access to some form of medical marijuana. The American people have spoken, and Congress needs to hear them. Ultimately, we need permanent protections for state-legal medical marijuana programs, as well as adult-use. Prohibition is a failed policy resulting in nothing more than wasted resources and lives.”
Funding for the 2018 fiscal year remains unsolidified, so there is still hope for the Rohrabacher-Farr protections to be extended. After the House GOP’s initial attempt at blocking the amendment, though, it certainly appears that the Cannabis Caucus has their work cut out for them.