The medical marijuana community could soon be untouchable by federal prosecutors. This is the goal of an amendment filed this week by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, which would serve as a safeguard for those states with medical marijuana legislation by offering dispensaries, doctors and patients protection from the snarling dogs of the drug war.
On Thursday, Paul filed his Amendment 3630, as part of the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would allow medical marijuana commerce to legally function in accordance with state laws without running the risk of federal heat.
“A State may enact and implement a law that authorizes the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use,” reads the proposal. “No prosecution may be commenced or maintained against any physician or patient for a violation of any Federal law.”
The amendment, according to Paul’s communications director, Brian Darling, is an effort to make the 33 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana, in some form, prosecution proof from the wrath of federal pot laws.
“What we’re trying to do is look at the law and allow states that have changed their laws and have allowed medical marijuana to do so, for doctors to be able to prescribe and for people to be able to get those prescriptions without being worried about the federal government coming in and arresting them,” Darling told The Huffington Post.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives approved similar legislation, known as the Rohrbacher-Farr amendment, aimed at preventing the Drug Enforcement Administration from using federal funds to raid legal medical marijuana businesses. However, Darling says Amendment 3630 offers a more solid foundation than previous legislation for shielding medical marijuana states.
“The effort before was to defund prosecutions — so it would block the federal government from prosecuting until that appropriations bill runs out about a year later,” said Darling. Paul’s latest proposal “would protect the states’ rights to make those decisions about medical marijuana that wouldn’t expire when the appropriations bill comes back up,” said Darling.
Unfortunately, due to the recent immobilization of the Senate, it is highly unlikely this amendment will even get a vote.