The ban on medical marijuana drugs has not been lifted.
Circulating the news a few weeks ago was the report that medical marijuana is already made legal by virtue of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which was actually an understandable mistake – that needs to be corrected anyway.
The press released the news claiming that the ban on the drugs was lifted “quietly” as part of an omnibus spending bill.
The provision said to be affecting the legality of marijuana essentially prohibits the Justice Department, by virtue of which the Drug Enforcement Administration, from using funds set aside in the bill to prevent the implementation of medical marijuana laws.
What this essentially means is that the State cannot use any funds in the bill for promoting and implementing their laws regarding medical marijuana drugs.
The state, however, may use other sources of funds to pursue their position with regards to drugs.
Effectivity of the Bill
Being an appropriation bill, this isn’t something that will be ongoing until the same bill is repealed.
It’s an appropriation, which essentially tackles budgeting concerns for the fiscal year. Hence, once the fiscal year is over, said bill will be replaced by a new one made by Congress, this time to address present, new, and emerging concerns that require an influx of cash.
That being said, medical marijuana drugs may or may not be part of that new appropriation.
As far as the bill goes, however, here’s what you should keep in mind: states are now essentially in the position to pursue whatever actions they wish with regards to medical marijuana drugs without having to fear federal backlash.
Surely, this sound practically like an approval of a country-wide application, but is it?
The truth is that it’s still fairly hard to figure out as the public remains divided.
More importantly, the Congress remains divided and arguments for and against the legalizing action on medical marijuana drugs are still pending if not questionable.
The reason why it’s so confusing isn’t confusing at all as states and the federal government seems to have very different takes on the marijuana drugs matter.
In truth, the rider provision is unlikely to affect the states where medical marijuana is not a concern – but what about those who have it?
When the amendment was approved, the Department of Justice let it be known that they will undermine prosecutions of marijuana drugs throughout the country.
Rohrabacher and Farr, the proponents of the amendment complained that the interpretation and intended implementation of the Department of Justice is contrary to the intention of the Congress in formulating the bill.
For one thing, the Department of Justice decided that the provision did not extend to private individuals and businesses – which means that those who fall under this classification still need to stay on their guard.
From the interpretation of the law, however, there’s a good chance that the Department of Justice won’t be able to heavily influence states with laws on drugs involving medical marijuana.
More importantly, they may not prosecute the state officials who allow or regulate the growth and retail of medical marijuana drugs.
This should give public officials more room for creating ordinances and policies without fear of backlash on the federal front.
Misconceptions on Marijuana Drugs
Unfortunately, with medical marijuana drugs being such a sensitive subject, the news that Congress finally lifted the ban on the drugs spread wide and fast.
Reports from Medical Daily, Lost Coast Outpost, and Daily Kos released the new, placing different headlines that translate to the same hopeful news: that medical marijuana is finally legal.
Although subsequent reports belie that hopeful information, the public isn’t completely left bereft of the benefits of medical marijuana drugs.
Although it might not be a complete capitulation on the part of Congress, it’s a pretty good start towards finally accepting it as a routine treatment for some of the worst health issues today.
Caveat on Drugs
Note though – the rider provision mentions the Department of Justice only and the different organizations falling under this major agency.
Other arms of the government however are still left free to do what they can when it comes to medical marijuana use.
There’s the IRS and the Treasury Department to begin with which can make it tough for marijuana growers and producers on the financial front.
Don’t forget that there’s the drugs definition act or the Controlled Substances Act which identifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 Substance.