Nearly 70 Congress members push spending bill amendment to protect state-legal marijuana
Published: Jan 12, 2018, 3:47 pm • Updated: Jan 12, 2018, 3:50 pm
Members of Congress have proposed a spending bill amendment that would ensure protections for states that have legalized marijuana.
Nearly 70 U.S. representatives have signed onto a letter sent Friday to U.S. House of Representatives leadership asking for the inclusion of the provision, known as the McClintock-Polis Amendment, that ensures U.S. Department of Justice funds cannot be used to interfere with states that have authorized some form of marijuana legalization.
The McClintock-Polis Amendment has taken on a new level of urgency in the wake of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Jan. 4 memo rescinding Obama-era guidance on marijuana enforcement, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., told The Cannabist.
“In the last week there’s been a groundswell of support to include this amendment in appropriations legislation,” he said.
Reps. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., and Polis asked that “any forthcoming appropriations or funding bill” include the following language:
None of the funds made available by this act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana on non-Federal lands within their respective jurisdictions.
The representatives said the proposed provision respects constitutional authority for states to regulate commerce within their own borders.
“Specifically, we are concerned with several