The past week in cannabis news, a congressional committee added a rider to protect medical marijuana from gratuitous prosecution by the DOJ, a House Rules Committee obstructed three hemp amendments, and a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States could have positive ramifications on state-sanctioned legalization.
Great news for MMJ patients and fans of the 10th amendment, during the week of May 14, 2018, we also learned the University of California San Diego received a $4.7 million grant to study the CBD cannabinoid as an effectual treatment for pediatric autism.
House Committee Shields Medical Marijuana States and Patients
Attorney General Jeff Sessions received some bad news last week: In a bipartisan vote on Thursday, the Committee on Appropriations voted on a measure to uphold certain protections for state sanctioned medical marijuana programs. Introduced by Ohio Rep. David Joyce (R-14th District), this amendment prevents the Department of Justice (DOJ) from utilizing any funds to target compliant medical marijuana patients or providers in states with applicable laws during Fiscal Year 2019.
Great news for states’ rights and those suffering severe pain. @HouseAppropsGOP Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill will include an amendment offered by myself protecting states’ rights regarding the use of medical marijuana.
— Dave Joyce (@RepDaveJoyce) May 17, 2018
First implemented in 2014, the amendment has protected medical marijuana states and their patients from federal overreach by the DOJ for nearly five years. These protections were set to expire, minus a continuing resolution or a renewed amendment by the Senate Appropriations Committee, on Sept. 30, 2018.
Three Hemp Bills Blocked by GOP
Congressional Republicans on the House Rules Committee, led by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), terminated three progressive hemp proposals on Wednesday. The first proposal shot down by Rep. Sessions enjoyed bipartisan support and was intended to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp. The second hemp measure killed off by congressional Republicans sought to remove hemp from the Controlled Substance Act. And last but not least on the bad news front, the third proposal blocked by the GOP was from a fellow Republican. Introduced by Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr, the amendment sought to prohibit federal banks from prohibiting, penalizing, or otherwise discouraging “financial institutions from providing financial services” to a legitimate industrial hemp business.
Pete Sessions (R-TX(🤮)) blocked Kentucky reps (👩🏾🌾👨🌾👨🏽🌾) from introducing amendments to the farm bill about hemp farming. Now hemp hopes pinned to Mitch McConnell (🧛🏻♂️) https://t.co/8ixKoQ3kBC
— NORML Women of WA (@NWAwashington) May 17, 2018
Congressman Sessions (R- 32 District) is up for reelection this November. The poster child for continued marijuana prohibition, Sessions is a career politician who backed the GOP’s tax plan, supported POTUS, and has an extensive history of casting malicious votes against common sense policy.
Supreme Court Rules on Murphy V. NCAA, What’s Next?
On Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 6 to 3 vote that states can legalize sports gambling. A victory for Federalism and the 10th Amendment, the highest court in the land sustained a 2014 New Jersey law allowing bets on sporting events to be placed at casinos and racetracks. In voiding the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional belief that the 10th Amendment provides certain protections from federal overreach.
An opinion analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision, Amy Howe noted “Their decision not only opens the door for states around the country to allow sports betting, but it also could give significantly more power to states generally on issues ranging from the decriminalization of marijuana to sanctuary cities.”
From states’ rights to marijuana decriminalization, a majority of America’s policymakers have been pushed into political Darwinism by recent polls. A sink or swim moment for many politicos, there is ample evidence a bureaucratic tsunami is headed for those in the nation’s capital who’ve yet to evolve on the topic of marijuana reform.