Included within the 1,603 pages of the recently-passed federal omnibus spending bill was the following paragraph:
“Sec. 538. None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, in respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
This language was part of an amendment sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), and it represents the culmination of decades of work by medical cannabis advocates from across the nation. Rohrabacher first submitted a similar amendment in 2003 in an effort to assuage the concerns of legislators and public officials that implementing medical cannabis laws would expose them to federal prosecution.
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