As long deliberations wrap up, the House GOP blocks legal protections for medical marijuana states. According to reports, yesterday the leaders of the GOP have effectively blocked the House of Representatives from voting on a measure that would protect states with medical cannabis from persecution.
MMJ and the DOJ
During the past four years, states with a medical marijuana program have had certain protections. The most significant protection was from the federal government. Specifically, protection from the Department of Justice.
Since his appointment by President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been trying to start a witch hunt. One of his main targets? Cannabis.
Medical cannabis in particular. In a letter that he wrote this past May, Sessions cited the opioid epidemic as a reason for a crackdown he wants to enact on medical marijuana.
Even though studies show that medical weed may be instrumental in helping addicts overcome their dependencies. Sessions, however, tends to ignore facts and statistics when it comes to his anti-weed agenda.
The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment
After it was first introduced in 2003, the House of Representatives voted the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment into action in 2014.
This Amendment protects states with medical marijuana programs from prosecution at the hands of the federal government. This protection is necessary since cannabis is still federally illegal.
In fact, Dana Rohrabacher, a lawmaker from California who helped draft the original amendment, published a statement earlier this week. In it, he urged Republicans to protect the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.
Broadly, the amendment prevents the Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere in any way with state medical marijuana laws.
However, there is a caveat. The House needs to renew the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment every fiscal year. Because the House needs to vote in favor of it each renewal period, state protections constantly hang in the balance.
This week, according to reports, GOP leaders have blocked the House of Representatives from voting to renew the amendment. The reason for the block is that the amendment is too divisive.
Final Hit: House GOP Blocks Legal Protections For Medical Marijuana States
GOP leaders are calling the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment too divisive? Isn’t that a weak reason for blocking a vote?
By blocking the vote the renew this amendment, the GOP is skirting the line of violating state’s rights. While nothing has been solidified, as in, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment hasn’t officially died, it is a precarious situation.
By blocking the vote to renew it, the GOP is putting thousands of medical marijuana patients at risk. They are also threatening the hundreds of medical cannabis businesses in these states.
Furthermore, since the amendment was created to protect states from interference from the federal government, blocking the vote for this amendment sets a dangerous precedent for states’ rights.