Urgent Action Needed to Protect Cannabis Patients and Programs
| Geoffrey Marshall
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill. The Mikulski Amendment is the Senate version of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prohibits the Department of Justice (DOJ) from interfering with those abiding by their state medical cannabis law. The Committee approved the Mikulski Amendment last year by a vote of 21-9, but it must be reauthorized again each year.
The Mikulski Amendment has helped slow down DOJ’s efforts to interfere with state medical cannabis programs and the patients who rely upon them. The amendment has been shown to have real impact in protecting programs and patients. In October 2015, Federal District Judge Charles Breyer cited the amendment when ruling that the federal government may not interfere with a medical cannabis dispensary unless they are violating state law. Last week, DOJ dropped its appeal against the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, letting Judge Breyer’s ruling stand. This is why it is vital for us to pass the amendment again.