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Home / News / Budget Deal Extends Medical Marijuana Protections, but Only Temporarily

Budget Deal Extends Medical Marijuana Protections, but Only Temporarily

By David Hodes

After a brief government shutdown—and another moment of angst for the nation’s legal cannabis industry—federal lawmakers struck a two-year budget deal that preserves a key protection for state-legal cannabis.

Every time the government shuts down—which has now happened twice in 2018—the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer amendment, which prevents the Justice Department from using resources to prosecute state-legal medical cannabis, is thrown into jeopardy. Until Congress passes another spending measure—hopefully with the amendment intact—its protections disappear, removing one of the only formal protections from federal interference.

With the Cole memo gone, the situation has grown even more uncertain. Without the DOJ guidelines admonishing US attorneys from going after state-legal cannabis, any freeze on Rohrabacher–Blumenauer opens the door for federal prosecutors to crack down on the medical cannabis industry, shutting down dispensaries and seizing businesses’ assets.

Read more at Leafly

 

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