U.S. Senate Agrees on 2-Year Budget Deal, Includes Protections for Medical Marijuana and Hemp

According to the Associated Press, Senate leaders announced Wednesday they have reached an agreement on a two-year budget deal.

The agreement comes just a day after the House of Representatives approved a much shorter-term budget deal, which extends government funding to March 23rd. Both the House approved bill, and the 2-year agreement reached by the Senate, includes and extension of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to enforce federal cannabis laws in states that have legalized the plant for medical use. The extension comes despite strong opposition from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Both the House-approved extension, and the Senate agreement, also include extensions of an amendment that protects state laws allowing for the cultivation and research of hemp. President Trump says he supports the Senate’s 2-year deal.

Although these amendments don’t protect state laws allowing recreational marijuana, it does clarify that the Department of Justice – which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration – can not attack users, growers or distributors of medical marijuana in states where it’s legal. These protections have been in place since 2014.

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