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420 with CNW – Congress to Consider Several Cannabis Amendments this Week

The House Rules Committee of Congress is set to hear almost a dozen amendments related to marijuana this week. This crucial committee will decide which of those amendments are cleared for a vote by the whole House. The amendments are being considered this week because those that pass will form part of the appropriations bill for funding sections of the federal government in the next fiscal year.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have reintroduced an amendment intended to prevent the Department of Justice from using its budget to get in the way of states which have enacted their own marijuana laws. An existing spending rider only covers medical marijuana, but the proposed amendment takes this further and seeks to protect state-level recreational marijuana as well. This new amendment is similar to another which failed by just nine votes in 2015.

Another amendment before the committee was introduced by Rep. Stacy Plaskett (D-VI). This measure is intended to correct the inadvertent omission of the U.S. Virgin Islands from the list of states and territories whose medical marijuana programs are protected from Justice Department interference by a spending rider.

Rep. Blumenauer didn’t stop at the amendment he co-authored with McClintock. He also brought several other amendments on his own. One amendment seeks to bar the Department of Justice from interfering in the tribal medical marijuana programs even if the states in which those tribal communities are found haven’t enacted medical cannabis laws. Three other amendments filed by the legislator also protect tribal marijuana programs in various ways.

Two other amendments by Blumenauer touch on the Department of Veteran Affairs. One protects VA workers from being penalized for filing paperwork in compliance with state laws regarding medical marijuana. Another aims at protecting VA doctors from being penalized for any marijuana-related work they do in states where medical marijuana is legal.

The Rules Committee will also consider a measure tabled by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) seeking to divert $30 million from the funding allocated to the DEA. This money should go towards the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program. In this way, the DEA will fall in line with the current thinking that drug addiction is a public health concern rather than a crime.

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) has also tabled an amendment containing a spending proposal for the FDA to undertake a process through which CBD (cannabidiol) will become legal as an additive in food supplements and conventional foods.

It is interesting to note that many of the amendments seem to be geared at introducing marijuana policy reforms using the appropriations process. The success of the spending rider placed on the DOJ years ago appears to have provided an example that advocates want to use to initiate incremental changes to the existing marijuana policies.

Analysts wonder what major cannabis industry entities like Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: INNPF) (FRA: 71P) think about this change in strategy.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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