Late this week, a bipartisan association of multiple congressional legislators submitted a letter encouraging chairpersons of a major commission to add provisions protecting territory, tribal, and state cannabis programs from state interference during the upcoming yearly budget legislation when it’s launched.
The letter was led by Representative Earl Blumenauer and Lee Barbara (Congressional Marijuana Committee co-chairs) and Representative McClintock Tom and Holmes Norton Eleanor. It highlights the surging number of jurisdictions legalizing recreational or medical cannabis. It also underscores multiple states that claim that the Justice Department shouldn’t be allowed to enforce criminalization against citizens who adhere to those state regulations.
The legislators said that most of these authorization regulations were determined by ballot measures. They further noted that state governments should be prevented from compromising these measures and these states’ citizens’ will.
The coalition is calling for management in a House Appropriations sub-commission to add a rider in a fundamental reform of upcoming spending reform that would bar the Department of Justice from spending its finances to compromise legal recreational marijuana markets. They also asserted that policy change to protect clinical marijuana states needs to be revised.
The House chamber has passed spending reforms with wider language in 2019 and 2020. However, since they weren’t attached to the fundamental bill, they needed to be launched and voted upon as policy changes. Lawmakers are trying to prevent such issues this time around by incorporating the protections from the beginning when the legislation is first unveiled.
The Senate hasn’t considered approving the broad rider up to date, and recreational cannabis protections didn’t make it to the final reform, which has been adopted as law.
The letter also encourages appropriators to add a new provision stating that the Department of Justice can’t apportion its finances to bar Indian tribes from implementing cannabis legalization.