Two states, Indiana and North Dakota, were mistakenly left off the list of protected states under the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. The amendment prevents the Department of Justice from meddling in or targeting state-regulated medical marijuana programs. The amendment must be renewed annually.
Indiana isn’t included in those states that are “off-limits to federal enforcement”, according to US News & World Report. Journalist Tom Angell was the first to report the omission. This is a loophole that AG Sessions could use to his advantage.
Tom Purdon, former North Dakota U.S. Attorney, said, “I think it is concerning that North Dakota’s brand-new law might be treated differently as a result of this.”
He also said, “You just hope DOJ and folks wouldn’t take advantage of what appears to be a mistake or some kind of loophole.”
Communications director for Representative Rohrabacher, Ken Grubbs said, “We don’t know why the two states were omitted.”
Grubbs also said, “It could have been inadvertent, evidence that the legalization movement is so fluid members couldn’t keep up.”
No revisions to the measure were made before the spending bill passed. The final bill has been identified to have the omission of Indiana and North Dakota by a House Appropriations committee employee.
The Indiana Attorney General is looking into the matter. The Northern Indiana U.S. Attorney’s Office is asking those with questions to inquire with the Justice Department press office.
Justice Department spokesperson Peter Carr said, “We will review the legislation and decline to comment further at this time.”
A committee will be put together to conduct a review of federal marijuana policy, ordered by AG Sessions.
Comments regarding recalling the spending bill to make the amendment have not been made. The spending bill has not been signed by President Trump yet.