Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, Leader Pelosi, and Leader Schumer:
As you work with the Appropriations Committees to negotiate a fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations bill to fund the government beyond December 8, 2017, we write to express our support for the inclusion of a provision that provides protections from the federal government to states that have medical marijuana laws on the books.
The provision, which first became law in December 2014, has successfully protected patients, providers, and businesses against federal prosecution, so long as they act within the confines of their state's medical marijuana laws. These protections extend to 46 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, all of which allow some form of medical marijuana that is strictly prohibited by the federal government--from CBD oils to the full plant. The language is supported by a bipartisan majority of the House, last passing as a standalone provision by a vote of 242-186 in 2015.
Specifically, we urge you to include in any final negotiated package the language adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee in July by voice vote during their markup of the FY '18 CJS appropriations bill:
None of the funds made available under 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 such State or jurisdiction from implementing a law that authorizes the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.
We appreciate the difficult task before you. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.