Trump signs stopgap spending bill extending federal medical marijuana protections a few more weeks

President Donald Trump signed a temporary spending bill into law on Friday to avert a government shutdown after the Republican-led Congress did the bare minimum in a sprint toward the holidays and punted disputes on immigration, health care and the budget to next year.

Protections for state medical marijuana programs known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment were also continued in the legislation to fund the government through Jan. 19, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., announced in a statement Friday.

“Patients around the country who rely on medical marijuana for treatment–and the businesses that serve them–now have some measure of certainty,” he said in a statement. “Our fight, however, continues to maintain these important protections in the next funding bill passed by Congress.”

The measure had passed the House on Thursday on a 231-188 vote over Democratic opposition and then cleared the Senate, 66-32, with Democrats from Republican-leaning states providing many of the key votes.

This is the second time Rohrabacher-Blumenauer protections have been temporarily extended as part of stopgap spending measures. It comes less than a month after a letter was made public in which 66 members of Congress urged Senate and House leaders to extend the medical marijuana protections that have been in place since December 2014. Those protections, previously known as Rohrabacher-Farr, prohibit the U.S. Department of Justice from using federal funds to prevent certain states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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