Last week, Congress passed a budget that barred the Justice Department, the DEA, or any other federal agency from using federal funds for going after legal cannabis. The provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment was first passed in 2014, and last week was renewed through the end of the fiscal year in September. People in the cannabis industry rejoiced, thinking that cannabis was safe for now. Well, we may have been celebrating too soon. Trump may defy Congress and go after the legal cannabis market regardless
When Trump was signing the appropriations bill into law last Friday, he added a signing statement, “Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories. I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
What this essentially means is that he thinks the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment will interfere with his duty to enforce federal laws, such as prohibition. Trump has not explicitly said that he plans to defy Congress and go after cannabis, but he could if he feels like it. Trump is fairly unpredictable, but if there’s one thing that we do know about him, it’s that he doesn’t like to feel like he’s being told what to do.
As Tom Angell reported with Massroots, if Trump does decide to go after the legal cannabis market, these people will have a very strong case in court. The Ninth Circuit Court did rule in favor of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. So, there’s that at least.
It’s hard to say what is going to happen. If Trump’s administration does decide to go over Congress’ head on this issue, this could end up going all the way to the Supreme Court. Also, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment only protects medical cannabis; recreational cannabis is still in danger, though implementing a raid on recreational cannabis only would be very tricky.
On the other hand, Trump’s administration has their hands full dealing with the opiate crisis. He seems more focused on getting his wall built at the moment. It looks like we will have to wait and see.
Image Source: Metro News
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