As soon as next week, there will be a crucial vote in the US House of Representatives on an amendment to protect legal marijuana states from federal interference.
This critical measure is known as the Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee amendment, after Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D), and Barbara Lee (D) (co-Chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus), Tom McClintock (R) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D).
Last Congress, House lawmakers overwhelmingly approved their amendment by a bipartisan vote of 267 to 165. Unfortunately, the language was not included in the final package.
For context, since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from federal prosecution by the Department of Justice. Existing language now maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
The bipartisan Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee amendment removes the word “medical” from the current language — thereby extending these protections to both qualified patients and to adults, as well as to those licensed in both the medical and recreational industries.
It is time for Congress to expand these important protections to adult-use legalization states. Today, nearly half of Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute.
The fix is literally that simple.
Send a message right now to your Representative and urge them to vote ‘yes’ and fight to keep this language in the final version of the CJS appropriations bill!