We recently reported on the inclusion of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment in the current Congressional budget deal. The controversy over whether the Justice Department should be permitted to enforce federal laws in states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes only seemed settled, at least until the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 expires in late September. Due to the signing statement that President Trump issued when approving the Act, however, we may have blogged too soon.
Signing statements, which have been used since the early 19th century, are written comments on legislation. The President signs a bill, then indicates which provisions he believes conflict with his Constitutional authority. These carry no legal weight, but can be seen as indicators of future policy.
According to a Washington Post article, “…the president noted a handful of objections on legal grounds, including to a provision that prohibits his administration from interfering with state-run medical marijuana programs.”
This statement and Attorney General Sessions’ previous comments on marijuana have those in the industry feeling a bit uncomfortable about the future of the industry.
Rest assured, we’ll keep following this issue – further bulletins as events warrant.