Rolling Out

Spending bill may have legalized marijuana, sort of


The recent $1.1 trillion cromnibus spending bill passed last weekend by Congress escaped the notice of many. The bill prevented a shutdown and keeps the government funded for another year. But of the many hidden provisions in the bill, one particular portion may have legalized weed.The  provision introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., explicitly “prohibits the Justice Department from spending money in any way that would result in them preventing states or the District of Columbia from implementing their own laws that allow the medical use of marijuana.”

Although the Rohrabacher amendment will stop federal law enforcement from targeting patients and legal dispensaries in compliance with their individual state laws, it does not end the federal ban on marijuana. But it does mean that these individuals cannot be prosecuted under the federal ban for now. The rider will expire in September of 2015 and must be renewed by Congress. If it is renewed, it will be the beginning of the dismantling of the federal ban on marijuana.

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