Lawmakers are looking at legislation that will prevent legal cannabis states from federal attack
Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Tom McClintock, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Barbara Lee filed a state protection amendment that has the intention of allowing states to continue enforcing their rights to decide their own cannabis legislations. Within the next week, the House of Representatives could give the green light to this provision that protects all states’ marijuana legalization laws from federal interference. The measure was introduced on Wednesday, and the sponsors hope to have it included in a bigger bill for funding several federal departments.
Actually, this legislation already has a provision to serve as a shield for the state medical cannabis laws from any intervention coming from the Justice Department, and even allows banks to service the cannabis industry without facing punishments form the Treasury Department, as well as protecting universities from losing funding due to studying the cannabis plant. However, supporters want to add this expansion to the current medical cannabis protection rider, which became official in 2014, that has been renewed on Congress every year since then. The goal is to have it apply to recreational marijuana and not just the medical marijuana sector.
“None of the funds made available by this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado… Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the United States Virgin Islands, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana,” reads the provision.