Congress Allows Medical Marijuana in Spending Bill

Congress Passes Spending Bill that Ends War on Drugs for States with Legal Medical Marijuana

spending billThe passage of the federal spending bill this past Saturday, December 13th, signaled an historic moment for medical marijuana and the War on Drugs in the United States.

The spending bill included an amendment for the 23 states that have already passed some form of medical marijuana legislation, which prohibits federal tax dollars to be spent on prosecuting legitimate, registered medical marijuana and industrial hemp businesses that operate appropriately under each state’s individual medical pot laws.

If the spending bill is signed into law by President Obama, then it would end federal raids on medical marijuana businesses that pass required state rules to operate.

“The federal government will finally respect the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) said. “This is great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients.”

So far, 23 states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, and 11 other states have legalized medical use of CBD oil including South Carolina.

“Congress has finally initiated a drawdown in the federal government’s war on medical marijuana,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement. “This legislation makes it clear that the DEA has no business interfering in states’ medical marijuana laws. Taxpayer money should not be used to punish seriously ill people who use medical marijuana and the caregivers who provide it to them.”

Although the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Justice have, under the Obama administration, said they would allow states to pass medical marijuana legislation without being harassed by the federal government, several medical marijuana dispensaries have been raided by DEA agents and numerous store owners have been sent to prison. Marijuana is still, according to federal law, a Schedule I substance, with “no currently accepted medical use.”

Along with medical marijuana, the spending bill amendment also prevents federal tax dollars from funding raids on industrial hemp businesses that also comply with their states’ laws. So far, 18 states have legalized industrial hemp processing plants – hemp is in the same species as marijuana, but the plant contains little to no THC, and processing for industrial applications like cloth removes the drug from the plant material. More than a dozen other states have some form of marijuana legislation passed so that research can be conducted on medical applications of the drug, which federal law does not allow for.

South Carolina’s legislature may consider a broader medical marijuana bill in the 2015 sessions.

If You Face Marijuana Charges, Including for Medical Marijuana Use Charges, The Strom Law Firm Can Help

Although many states have passed medical marijuana legislation, South Carolina still has not legalized the use of marijuana for recreational or medical reasons. You could be charged with drug possessionIf you or a loved one have been found with medical marijuana, you could face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony, depending on how much marijuana was on your person, and what your intent was with the drug. The Columbia, South Carolina drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Do not let drug charges for medical marijuana hurt your reputation or your future aspirations. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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