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Cannabis Rescheduling Dealt Blow as House Committee Passes Bill Aimed at Blocking Progress

The landmark US cannabis rescheduling project was dealt a major blow this week, as a controversial spending bill aimed at blocking the bill was passed by a key House Committee.

On Tuesday, July 09, the House Appropriations Committee, which is led by the GOP, approved proposals which would prevent the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using any funds to reschedule or deschedule cannabis.

As it stands, the bill states that ‘none of the funds appropriated or other wise made available by this Act may be used to reschedule marijuana or to remove marijuana from the schedules established under Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act’, Marijuana Moment reported.

It comes just months after DOJ published its formal proposal for cannabis rescheduling, officially putting what is set to be the most meaningful overhaul of cannabis regulation in 50-years into motion.

Following the publication of the proposals on May 21, 2024, all interested parties were given 60 days to submit their comments on the proposals, giving them until July 22.

The Republican-led House has so far passed four of the 12 annual spending bills so far this year, but the Democratic-led Senate has so far passed none.

All four bill that have been passed have also received threats of being vetoed by the White House and have seen major pushback from Democrats, meaning there is little chance any of these bills will make it through the Senate in their current form.

It is now likely that a long and protracted battle will play out, requiring stopgap spending bills to keep the government functioning when the new fiscal year starts on October 01.

The result will also come as further bad news for the embattled President Biden, who is facing increasing pressure from his own party to step aside following his poor performance at a recent presidential debate.

Biden had been counting on the cannabis reform to secure support from younger voters, and his administration has repeatedly cited their action on the topic in their campaign.

While the bill would keep rules dating back to 2014 that would prevent the federal government using funds to interfere with state medical cannabis programs, new language was added enabling the DOJ to increase penalties for distributing cannabis within 1000ft of schools, colleges, playgrounds or public housing.

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