Category: Federal

Federal Omnibus Includes Amendment to Prohibit DOJ/DEA From Interfering With State Medical Marijuana

The final version of the House omnibus appropriations bill includes the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year. The amendment restricts the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from using taxpayer funds to interfere in state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs in the 20+ states that have enacted them. NORML supporters have rallied in favor of this provision, with over 22,000 emails and countless direct calls being directed at federal lawmakers regarding the amendment this year. “This amendment is an important step towards relieving […]

Federal Omnibus Includes Amendment to Prohibit DOJ/DEA From Interfering With State Medical Marijuana

The final version of the House omnibus appropriations bill includes the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year. The amendment restricts the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from using taxpayer funds to interfere in state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs in the 20+ states that have enacted them. NORML supporters have rallied in favor of this provision, with over 22,000 emails and countless direct calls being directed at federal lawmakers regarding the amendment this year. “This amendment is an important step towards relieving […]

House Approves Amendment to Allow Financial Institutions to Work With Marijuana Businesses

This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted 231 to 192 in favor of the Heck-Perlmutter-Lee-Rohrabacher Amendment, which will restrict Treasury Department and SEC funds from being spent to penalize financial institutions for providing services to marijuana related business that operate according to state law. This proposal amends H.R. 5016, a spending bill for fiscal year 2015 that funds the Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Department, and Securities and Exchange Commission. The amendment reads: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used, with respect to the States of […]

The White House Opposes Congressional Attempts to Hinder DC Marijuana Reform

In a Statement of Administration Policy, released today, President Obama’s administration took a firm stance against recent efforts by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) to restrict the District of Columbia from using any of its funds towards reducing the penalties for, or legalizing, marijuana for recreational use. The memo states that “the Administration strongly opposes the language in the bill preventing the District from using its own local funds to carry out locally- passed marijuana policies, which again undermines the principles of States rights and of District home rule. Furthermore, the […]

USDA Releases Official Workplace Policy on Marijuana, Highlights State and Federal Law Conflict

In a memo obtained by NORML, released in late May, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) clarified their drug policy in light of the growing number of states legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. In response to inquiries regarding the department’s policy for employees in states that approved recreational or medical use of marijuana, the USDA strongly reaffirmed that their drug testing policies concerning marijuana are still very much in effect, regardless of state law changes. The memo states that, “use of Marijuana for ‘recreational’ purposes is not […]

US House Votes to Prohibit DOJ From Interfering With State Medical Marijuana or Industrial Hemp Programs

After a long debate that had the US House of Representatives in session until after midnight, the lower chamber of Congress cast a historic 219 to 189 vote to restrict the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration from using taxpayer funds to interfere in state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs in the 20+ states that have enacted them. This measure was co-sponsored by Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Reps. Rohrabacher (R-Calf.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Steve Stockman […]

Kentucky Sues Feds Over Confiscated Hemp Seeds

Earlier this week, the Drug Enforcement Administration ordered that 250 pounds of hemp seed be seized at Louisville Airport in Kentucky. The seeds were being imported by the Kentucky government from Italy to plant at state universities in their hemp pilot program. Kentucky legalized industrial hemp in 2013 and the federal government approved legislation this year that allowed states to engage in limited hemp cultivation. When the DEA refused to return the seeds under reasonable conditions, the Kentucky Agriculture Department filed suit against the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, […]

Representative Cohen Introduces the Unmuzzle the Drug Czar Act

Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced federal legislation, House Resolution 4046, to remove legal restrictions prohibiting the Office of National Drug Control Policy from researching marijuana legalization. These restrictions also require the office to oppose any and all efforts to liberalize criminal laws associated with the plant. “Not only is the ONDCP the only federal office required by law to oppose rescheduling marijuana even if it is proven to have medical benefits, but it is also prohibited from studying if that could be even be true,” said Congressman Cohen. “The […]

Banks Willing to Work With Marijuana Business, But Waiting for Federal Clarification

Reported this week in the Daily Herald: Community banks and credit unions are ready and willing to provide financial services to entrepreneurs in the state’s new legal pot industry. But they aren’t able to, at least not yet. Marijuana businesses, even ones that will soon be legally licensed in this state, are considered criminal enterprises under federal law, which makes handling their money a crime in the eyes of the Department of Justice. Until the agency changes its outlook or Congress changes the law — and efforts are under way […]

Lawmakers to Vote on Hemp Amendment to Farm Bill

It is possible that, for the first time ever, the United States Senate will vote to approve industrial hemp cultivation in the coming days. Please take a moment of your time to encourage your Senator to support this measure. You can easily do so by clicking here. Senator Ron Wyden has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 954, the Senate version of this year’s federal farm bill, that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant […]