President Trump’s proposed 2021 fiscal budget pretty much reads like all his prior budgets: cuts to social security and sciences and handouts to wall street and the pentagon.
But tucked in this morass of horror is a plan to gutting an existing policy that protects state medical marijuana programs from Justice Department interference.
Since 2014, a rider stipulated the Justice Department was barred from using its funds to prevent states or territories “from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
Here is the specific text of the rider:
SEC. 538. None of the funds made available under 4 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, Indiana, 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, or with respect to the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico, to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.
This isn’t the first time Trump has tried to scrap this rider. Indeed, his last two budgets omitted the medical cannabis protection language.
It should also be noted that President Obama asked for the policy to be removed, but Obama largely left medical marijuana alone. In every instance, Congress has disregarded those requests and renewed the protections in spending bills
Although there once was a time when Republicans gave a damn about deficits and “States’ Rights,” they seem to care only about maintaining power