House Floor Vote To Protect States’ Marijuana Laws Pending In Congress

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Members of the United States House of Representatives are anticipated to vote this week (perhaps as earl as Wednesday) on a series of amendments to a Justice Department spending bill. These amendments seek to limit the federal government’s intrusion in states that have regulated various aspects of marijuana production and access.

Specifically, Representatives Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO) are introducing an amendment intended to halt the federal prosecution of individuals involved in marijuana-related activities that are in compliance with the laws of their states. Last year, Congressional members approved an amendment to the DOJ funding bill that restricted the Department from interfering in activities specific to state medical marijuana programs. This year’s amendment is broader in its scope as it seeks to halt Justice Department interference among individuals and businesses engaged in state-compliant transactions particular to both the medical or recreational use of cannabis.

President Obama Signs Farm Bill With Amendment To Allow Industrial Hemp Research

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: President Obama has signed the Farm Bill which contains an amendment to legalize hemp production for research purposes. Originally introduced by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the amendment allows State Agriculture Departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes, but it applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) successfully worked to retain and strengthen the hemp research amendment during the Farm Bill conference committee process. [Read more…]