Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment & State Legalization of Marijuana

Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment is a rider on the federal spending bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) from using congressionally allocated funds to stop the states from legalizing the possession, distribution, or cultivation of medical marijuana. The bill is designed to prevent the DOJ from using federal funds to prosecute those involved in the medical marijuana industry. As long as growers and dispensaries obey state regulations, they should be protected from federal prosecution.

This amendment is designed to protect the medical marijuana industry from federal intervention, but does not apply to recreational users in states where recreational use is permitted. In Pennsylvania, only medical marijuana has been legalized, so recreational users are not protected from state or federal prosecution. This amendment also provides protection for the hemp industry, which produces hemp fiber for a number of purposes, from textiles to supplements.

The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment must be revisited and renewed on an annual basis. The bill has been reauthorized every year since its introduction in 2014, and frequently receives bi-partisan support, which allows it to remain in place. The amendment was most recently renewed on April 28, 2017, and it is set to be renewed again in late 2017.

For medical marijuana patients across the country, this bill is a powerful protection. The amendment can protect states’ rights and will prevent the federal government from interrupting voter-approved medical marijuana laws. As far as ending the prohibition of marijuana use, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment is the first step.

Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment may be in danger. Marijuana legalization advocates are concerned about Attorney Sessions promised crackdowns on marijuana, as well as many other controlled substances. Currently, the bill is safe until late 2017, when it will be up for review again.

Medical marijuana can be a complex and uncertain area of the law. Our Pennsylvania medical marijuana attorneys at Sacks Weston LLC have fought tirelessly for the legalization of medical marijuana, and we are committed to protecting the Pennsylvania medical marijuana industry.

Contact our offices to learn how we can help with your medical marijuana case.