While millions of Americans let out a sigh of relief, knowing our government will not shut down at least for another fiscal year, millions of Americans may not have been aware of marijuana legislation that was and was not included in the Omnibus bill.
According to an article in The Daily Chronic, the following marijuana re-authorizations for 2016 took place:
- Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration will not have funding for interfering with state medical marijuana laws; and
- The DOJ and DEA will not have funding to interfere with state industrial hemp research programs.
Unfortunately, the following individual provisions were not included:
- To permit Veterans Affairs doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to military veterans;
- To prevent the V.A. from denying services to veterans because they are state recognized medical marijuana patients;
- To include Senate-backed language seeking to authorize financial institutions to engage in relationships with state-licensed marijuana business; and
- To allow the District of Columbia to sell and tax marijuana. (Currently, DC residents can grow, possess and share marijuana.)
The parts that stand out for me is:
- The fact that our members of Congress are still interfering with doctor-patient relationships in the VA; and
- Licensed businesses still have to pay their bills in cash instead of accessing banking services.
This is a very slow and frustrating process.
In the meantime, patients suffer and Congress shows it DOES NOT CARE about our very sick and needful military veteran citizenry.
And, rubbing salt in the wounds: the licensed, lucrative, high tax-paying marijuana businesses are not allowed to use the same banks to which small, under-funded, and low tax-paying businesses across the country have access.
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