Colorado lawmakers fall short in effort to shield recreational marijuana from federal enforcement | VailDaily.com

Colorado lawmakers fall short in effort to shield recreational marijuana from federal enforcement

But massive spending bill will continue to protect medical marijuana use

Mark K. Matthews
The Denver Post
photo - Michael Bennet (left) and Cory Gardner of Colorado

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (left) and Cory Gardner of Colorado pushed for recreational marijuana industry protections in the federal budget.

WASHINGTON — A $1.3 trillion plan to fund the federal government through the end of September won't include protections for the recreational marijuana industry — a blow to Colorado lawmakers who tried to add that language to the must-pass bill.

The legislators wanted the measure to include a provision that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Justice from spending money to crack down on recreational use in states that had legalized the drug.

Congress has protected medical marijuana this way for the past several years — and did so again in the 2,232-page spending bill — but several Colorado lawmakers wanted to broaden that shield after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January rescinded an Obama-era policy that generally left alone states such as Colorado that had legalized marijuana.

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner of Colorado were among 18 senators who wrote to the Senate Committee on Appropriations in February with the request that its members "respect states' laws regarding the regulation of marijuana."

Read the full story from The Denver Post: “Colorado lawmakers fall short in effort to shield recreational marijuana from federal enforcement“.