The Los Angeles Times reported that the US government’s federal spending measure, a bill that was passed this past weekend, “signals a major shift in drug policy.” Specifically, it “effectively ends the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana.”
As quoted in the market news:
Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.
The Obama administration has largely followed that rule since last year as a matter of policy. But the measure approved as part of the spending bill, which President Obama plans to sign this week, will codify it as a matter of law.
Pot advocates had lobbied Congress to embrace the administration’s policy, which they warned was vulnerable to revision under a less tolerant future administration.
More important, from the standpoint of activists, Congress’ action marked the emergence of a new alliance in marijuana politics: Republicans are taking a prominent role in backing states’ right to allow use of a drug the federal government still officially classifies as more dangerous than cocaine.