Possible Error in Spending Bill Allows Crackdown in 2 Medical Pot States
An apparent error in the $1.1 trillion spending bill approved by Congress on Thursday deprives two states with medical marijuana laws of protection against federal anti-drug agents and prosecutors.
The bill awaits President Donald Trump’s signature after winning Senate approval and will dictate the use of federal funds through September.
For unknown reasons, medical pot programs in North Dakota and Indiana were not listed as being off-limits to federal enforcement in the bill, which was negotiated by congressional leaders before being presented for floor votes.
The omission, first reported on Massroots.com Monday by journalist and activist Tom Angell, is sparking concern about a loophole that could be exploited by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an opponent of marijuana use and a skeptic about its medical value.
“I think it is concerning that North Dakota’s brand-new law might be treated differently as a result of this,” says Tim Purdon, who served as U.S. attorney for North Dakota from 2010 to 2015.