New Congress budget would protect medical marijuana from federal interference

U.S. lawmakers are hoping to protect medical marijuana laws while attempting to avoid another government shutdown.

Congressional leaders are currently voting on a budget that would prevent federal agencies from interfering with states’ medical marijuana laws, reports Forbes‘ Tom Angell.

The $1.3 trillion spending bill would also keep the federal government open until September.

“We believe such a policy is not only consistent with the wishes of a bipartisan majority of the members of the House, but also with the wishes of the American people,” wrote several lawmakers last week in a letter to House appropriations leaders.

The medical marijuana protections included in the bill is a response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who in January rescinded an Obama-era Justice Department memo instructing that federal funds would not be used to prosecute state-legal medical cannabis programs.

But while a bipartisan group of lawmakers support protecting medical marijuana laws, the House GOP blocked an amendment on Wednesday that would extend the same medical protections to recreational programs.

“While I’m glad that our…

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