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Congressional Leaders: Weed States Must Have Permanent Protection

Congressional Leaders: Weed States Must Have Permanent Protection

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Congressional Leaders: Weed States Must Have Permanent Protection

Representatives from across the aisle of Congress are arguing that weed states must have permanent protection for legalized medicinal cannabis programs.

Two lawmakers issued a call-to-arms on September 11 for Congress to prolong protections for state medical marijuana programs through December, declaring that weed states must have permanent protection where it’s already legalized.

A Call to Arms, a Call to Action

Congressional Leaders: Weed States Must Have Permanent Protection

The statement was released after an injunction was placed on the Department of Justice, barring them from prosecuting patients prescribed medicinal cannabis—and the dispensaries that do so—in order to allocate funds under the FY 2018 Housing Budget for other sectors, such as disaster relief.

According to a press release issued by Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher (CA) and Democrat Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR), who are co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, their recent victory against the Department of Justice regarding the preservation of current state-wide operations is a step in the right direction, but it’s not nearly enough.

The pair also warned that a failure to do so could put the lives and livelihoods of thousands in danger.

“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 representatives stated, adding that upwards of 95 percent of Americans have legal access to some type of medicinal cannabis in their state.

As it stands, the debt limit, while offering a short-term respite, disappointed many in Congress involving a long-term solution.

“The American people have spoken, and Congress needs to hear them,” they continued. “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.”

Final Hit: Weed States Must Have Permanent Protection, According To Legislators

The current legislation dictates that protection in current states wherein it applies is currently slated to last through December 8, but congressional leaders—i.e., members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus—are currently working on more permanent solutions that meet legally with federal provisos.

Even so, this declaration marks another big move by the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, which was launched in February of this year.

Founded by Rohrabacher, Blumenauer, Representative Don Young (AK-At Large) and Representative Jared Polis (CO-02), the bipartisan pro-cannabis group has since also campaigned to increase and expand MMJ research.

Considering the current administration’s blatant opposition to the pro-cannabis movement and their trigger-happy sensibilities when it comes to shooting down funding for the very research the caucus is fighting for, their fight might prove to be an uphill battle.

Regardless, noted anti-cannabis/fun police Attorney General Jeff Sessions might have a bit more on his plate than he initially bargained for.

J.E. Reich

J.E. Reich is a Brooklyn-based GRD staff writer and a former night/weekend editor at Jezebel. Their work has appeared in Slate, the Toast, the Forward, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere.

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