The cannabis community was rocked when the Republican-led House Rules Committee nonsensically prohibited a vote on the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, and a whole host of other positive cannabis law reform measures. The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, sponsored by Republican Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat Earl Blumenauer, protects state-legal medical marijuana patients and providers from federal prosecution.
Blocking a vote on Rohrabacher-Blumenauer was especially egregious as the amendment had passed with growing bipartisan support for four years in a row and a supermajority of American voters support medical cannabis and the right of states to implement their own cannabis laws. However, it looks like we should have a three-month reprieve under a debt and disaster relief bill passed by the Senate.
While the cannabis community was shocked to see state medical marijuana programs potentially threatened by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department, politicos, particularly GOP congressional leaders, were stunned to hear that Donald Trump had agreed to a debt relief bill with the Democrats. The deal, if passed by the House, pushes a budget bill vote back another three months.
All political wrangling and partisanship aside, the debt deal is good news for the cannabis community, as the Senate bill includes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment. The House is expected to take up an identical bill shortly. If the House passes an identical bill, we will have three months to organize and mobilize to ensure that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment gets the vote it deserves.
A handful of Republican members on the House Rules Committee should not be able to override the will of tens of millions of voters who overwhelmingly support medical cannabis. It will be imperative that the cannabis community remain vigilant and make our voices heard in the Halls of Congress loud and clear.
Congressmen Rohrabacher and Blumenauer have both spoken at the International Cannabis Business Conference multiple times. The ICBC is the cannabis event to learn the latest regarding cannabis business, politics and activism. The next ICBC, in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii, on December 1st thru the 3rd, will be a great opportunity to learn about the latest policy developments and how the cannabis community can organize effectively to ensure that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment is passed so we can continue protecting medical cannabis patients and their providers from federal prosecution.
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