After a government shutdown lasting only a few hours, Congress passed yet another temporary spending bill on Friday that will keep medical marijuana patients and providers safe for a little while longer. The bill includes the amendments that has been part of the spending budget since 2014, which prevents the Department of Justice from spending resources to prosecute people or businesses that are in compliance with state laws. This deal is set to expire on March 23.
Congress will need to pass another spending bill before then in order to continue keeping state medical marijuana programs safe. In the event of a government shutdown, there will be nothing to stop federal prosecutors from targeting medical marijuana programs around the country.
However, supportive lawmakers are using the temporary reprieves to push for even more comprehensive protections, including amendments that would extend protections to businesses in the adult-use market.
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Author: Marijuana Policy Project