Nearly 70 Congress members push spending bill amendment to protect state-legal marijuana | SummitDaily.com

Nearly 70 Congress members push spending bill amendment to protect state-legal marijuana

"In the last week there's been a groundswell of support to include this amendment in appropriations legislation," Rep. Jared Polis said

By Alicia Wallace and Alex Pasquariello / The Cannabist Staff

Members of Congress have proposed a spending bill amendment that would ensure protections for states that have legalized marijuana.

Nearly 70 U.S. representatives 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.

Last April, a letter from Reps. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., and Polis requesting inclusion of their amendment in the appropriations bill had a total of 16 signatures. The letter sent Friday had the support of 69 members.

In it, the congressmen asked that "any forthcoming appropriations or funding bill" include the following language:

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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.

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