2016 Congressional Spending Bill Reauthorizes Marijuana Protections

The 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill was unveiled this morning, and with it a showing of Congressional support for continued protections for medical marijuana businesses and hemp research crops.

NORML Political Director Danielle Keane reports:

We now know that two [cannabis] provisions have been included in the omnibus appropriations bill. One measure prevents the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from spending money to interfere with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. The other measure prevents the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from spending money to interfere with the implementation of state industrial hemp research programs.

Sadly, cannabis didn’t win every battle in the passing of this bill. A provision that permitted doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical cannabis was removed from the final version of the bill, as well as one that would have prevented V.A. doctors from dropping patients because of their status a registered MMJ patient.

Additionally, the Congressional block on Washington D.C.’s recreational marijuana market will remain in place: District of Colombia residents will be spending another year with the right to grow, possess and share cannabis, but not be allowed to purchase or distribute it.

Photo Credit: Texas State Library and Archives Commission

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