However state-legal canna-businesses can now breathe a temporary sigh of relief, as a new budget amendment proposed by Republican Rep. David Joyce is likely to protect them until the end of next year. As Joyce himself tweeted yesterday:
Great news for states’ rights and those suffering severe pain. In lieu of any new legislation protecting states’ rights to legalize pot, pro-cannabis politicians have worked to enact protections for the medical cannabis industry by way of an amendment to each year’s annual budget bill. This amendment was successfully added to every year’s budget since 2014, but last year, opponents of cannabis reform almost managed to block it. Not only is Pete Sessions still chair of the committee, but Rep. Rohrabacher, original sponsor of the amendment, may be facing difficulty getting re-elected due to his reputation as one of the most pro-Russia members of Congress. “In fact, even more voters from every political demographic oppose federal interference in state marijuana laws.”
In a rare show of bipartisan cooperation, the committee approved the funding, which will prevent Rep. Sessions from blocking its debate on the House floor. “At this point, opponents probably want to avoid being on the record voting against sick patients and states’ rights.”
Although they’re off to a good start, both the amendment and the entire funding bill must be approved by both chambers of Congress to become law. Of course, like last year, the entire budget bill could be hung up again by partisan debate, potentially delaying the adoption of the amendment or leading to additional government shutdowns.