With all of the advances in the medical marijuana industry, it is still surprising that it keeps getting setbacks. With a community that is ready to move forward, how is it that the government continues to push it back? Most recently the house committee blocked medical marijuana standards that would protect the community. What does this mean for you and your health? More importantly, can you expect big changes to the way you get your medicine?
It started out with good intentions with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who is a long standing friend to the community. The California Republican Representative spent a full two days lobbying to her fellow congressmen to support MMJ. This bill would protect patients, growers and shop owners from the government. While the government and the community were working together, you cannot ignore the digression.
This action would keep the DOJ from using funds to prosecute branches of the cannabis community. This would specifically protect banks who work with dispensaries as well the shop owners themselves. The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment has been working to protect these people since 2014. So, why the sudden change?
Many people speculate that the rejection of this amendment is directly due to the political climate we live in. It is no secret that this government is taking a strong anti-marijuana stance. Unfortunately, with that much power, the government can do some serious damage to the progress made. Leading the charge is none other than Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Jeff Sessions has always been vocal in his opposition to medical marijuana. He has even gone as far as to blame the community for the crime. Sessions have had a long history of opposition and when combined with his title, it makes for a perfect storm. However, it is not as simple as a conservative vs. progressive matter. Rohrabacher who is an outspoken conservative is asking for fellow conservatives to follow her lead in protecting the community.
Unfortunately, all of the pleadings fell on deaf ears as the house voted to drop the amendment that protects the community. Rohrabacher sites Sessions directly for the failure. She stated that it was Sessions who urged Congress to drop the protection amendment with the President’s blessing. However heavy the blow, this is not the end for the government protection plan.
While this action taken is a setback, it wasn’t the only amendment protecting MMJ patients from the government. There was another amendment that was passed by the house in July. Along with that, there is still work to be done on the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer bill. They’re hoping that the bill can still be saved once the final version reaches the Senate floor.
People in the community should not be discouraged. The majority of Senate leaders and representatives support the rights of all medical marijuana patients. They have shown this by fighting time and time again to protect them. Unfortunately, because the house is currently conservative majority, there will be resistance. This latest blow has come in a long line of push back from the government which has inspired many people to keep fighting.
The fight isn’t over until every MMJ patient and caregiver have safe and easy access to the medication they need. While this measure only majorly affects the eight states where recreational marijuana is legal, that can soon change. With the voting coming up in November, the hope is that many other states will pass recreational marijuana legalization. Maybe when they do, the community will have strength in numbers to fight future blowbacks. Only time will tell.