In a rare moment of compromise, Congressional Democrats and Republicans were able to piece together a $1.1 trillion spending package that pays for many things on President Barack Obama's priority list.

Topping headlines was the bill's targeting of the Dodd-Frank law, which aimed to curb some of Wall Street's riskiest trading, and its allowing of wealthy donors to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawmakers.

The bill also has some protections for medical marijuana dispensaries and their patients, which is good news if you're Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and Palm Springs. All of these cities have dispensaries within their borders or are considering them.

The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), would prevent the federal government from using funds to raid state-level legal marijuana dispensaries.

Farr told the Huffington Post:

"The federal government will finally respect the decisions made by the majority of states that passed medical marijuana laws. This is great day for common sense because now our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on prosecuting criminals and not sick patients."

Critics of prohibition are concerned with the lack of consistency between states and the federal government because even though it is legal in some states, it is still illegal federally. This means the federal government can raid dispensaries at its discretion (and it often does).

Also changing are the ways doctors look at treating veterans returning from war with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Typically, veterans would be prescribed opiates, which can run a high risk for abuse and overdose due to the "adverse effects" on PTSD patients.

 

Medical marijuana proponents have been pushing the United States to develop and expedite government-approved marijuana for research purposes in order to give patients alternatives for healing, but the process can be slow.

Adding to medical marijuana supporters' difficulties is that marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug like heroin and LSD, making it difficult to legitimize any results gleaned from research.

Knowing this, Rohrabacher introduced another marijuana-related bill, this time with the help of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.): the Veterans Equal Access Act.

The separate bill would allow VA doctors to prescribe veterans medical marijuana without the legal fallout.

If signed into law, it could also give veterans in the Coachella Valley another option for mitigating injuries sustained from war.

The Riverside County Veterans' Services serves 18,000 veterans.

Recently, the Department of Justice gave Native American tribes authority to legalize marijuana on their reservations, but it's too early to tell if Riverside County tribes will delve into this issue in any way.

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