Today, NORML, (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), welcomed the extension and expansion of critical marijuana policy provisions through September 30 in the fiscal year 2017 omnibus funding legislation. The legislation is expected to be passed by the full Congress later this week.
Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director released the following statement:
“The decision to reauthorize this language illustrates both compassion and common sense when it comes to marijuana policy. The majority of states and over 90 percent of the public approves of the use of marijuana as a medicine and Congress should not stand in the way of these reforms.
“Congress deciding to maintain protections for state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs in the era of a Department of Justice being led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions means that patients ailing from conditions that range from cancer to PTSD can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. When approved, states will be able to continue to service and implement these programs without fear of federal incursion until September 30 of this year.
“Yet, this action is only a stopgap measure at best. Ultimately, Congress needs to amend federal law in a manner that comports with the available science, public opinion, and with America’s rapidly changing cultural and legal landscape. Such action includes removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act so that states possess the flexibility to engage in their own marijuana regulatory policies how best they see fit.”
The text in the omnibus funding legislation is:
Page 230 – “SEC. 537. None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, 25 Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.
NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.