House Judiciary Democrats Call For Marijuana Hearing

On February 7th, Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), requesting a hearing on the recent revocation of the Cole Memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Cole Memo, was a Justice Department memorandum, authored by former US Deputy Attorney General James Cole in 2013 to US attorneys in all 50 states, directing prosecutors not to interfere with state legalization efforts and those licensed to engage in the plant’s production and sale, provided that such persons do not engage in marijuana sales to minors or divert the product to states that have not legalized its use, among other guidelines.

In their letter, the Democrats wrote:

“We fear that the elimination of the Obama Administration’s marijuana enforcement guidance will promote an inefficient use of limited taxpayer resources and subvert the will of voters who have clearly indicated a preference for legalized marijuana in their states.”

Rep. Goodlatte has refused to hold a hearing on marijuana since he took over as the Chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee, where any serious reform legislation would originate.

Recently, Congressman Jerry Nadler was elected by his colleagues to be the ranking member of the minority party on the committee. Rep. Nadler has earned an “A+” rating on the NORML Scorecard for his support of ending the federal prohibition of marijuana, positive votes when given the opportunity, and his co-sponsorship of legislation including the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act in the previous session of Congress.

The current Chairman of the committee is Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), a longtime opponent of marijuana reform who has earned a “D” on the NORML scorecard for voting against reform amendments when given the opportunity. However, Rep. Goodlatte had announced earlier this year that he will not be running for reelection, which will leave a wide-open race on the Republican side who will be the top member in the next Congress.

Given the political climate, in order to secure hearings on legislation that would end prohibition, it is essential that the next Chairman of the Judiciary be willing to address the issue.

In the meantime, we simply will have to wait and see how Rep. Goodlatte responds.

You can reach Congressman Goodlattes DC office by phone at: (202) 225-5431. If you call his office, let us know what his staff said in the comments below.

Here is the full letter by the Judiciary Democrats:

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte
House Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Goodlatte:

We are deeply concerned by the recent action by Attorney General Sessions rescinding Department of Justice (DOJ) marijuana enforcement guidance issued during the Obama Administration.  We write to request a hearing of the full Judiciary Committee regarding this decision.

On January 4, 2018, Attorney General Sessions issued a memorandum to U.S. Attorneys eliminating marijuana enforcement priorities set forth under President Obama.  Previous memoranda issued during the Obama Administration, such as the memorandum issued in 2013 by then Deputy Attorney General James Cole (Cole Memo), made clear the considerations the federal government should use when deciding to prosecute violations of the Controlled Substances Act related to marijuana. Rather than targeting individuals in states that had legalized marijuana and consequently set up complex regulatory systems, the government focused on priorities that were significant to the federal government. These included preventing gangs and cartels from profiting from marijuana sales and ensuring that state-authorized marijuana was not used to hide other illegal activities.

We fear that the elimination of the Obama Administration’s marijuana enforcement guidance will promote an inefficient use of limited taxpayer resources and subvert the will of voters who have clearly indicated a preference for legalized marijuana in their states.  Further, the January 4 memorandum by Attorney General Sessions fails to provide any evidence that prosecuting marijuana in states where it has been legalized will make Americans safer.  DOJ should instead pursue enforcement strategies that are sensible, effective, and enhance public safety, and the Judiciary Committee should be included in these discussions.

The Judiciary Committee has a fundamental duty to conduct oversight on the Department of Justice.  It is critical that the members of our committee have an opportunity to ask questions about this recent rescission in a formal setting and evaluate potential legislation related to marijuana. Therefore, we respectfully request a hearing by the full Committee on these issues.


Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Representative David Cicilline (D-RI)
Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

58 thoughts

  1. Marijuana legalization means little in Russia.

    But Putin owns Trump, and Trump owns the Republicans. That’s how Russian operatives can prance around the Oval Office with only Russian media in attendance — no American press allowed.

    Or how, yesterday, when asked if America was prepared to defend the upcoming midterm elections against more Russian hacking, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, in effect, “No, they’re just too clever for us. If they want to do it, they will.” Think about that.

    (Bear in mind that Rex Tillerson is one of the few exclusive Americans who have received, directly from Putin himself, a Russian “Order of Friendship” award.”)

    The Atlantic, a self-professed non-partisan journal, just came out with a piece calling for a total boycott of the Republican Party.

    From the article: “This, then, is the article we thought we would never write: a frank statement that a certain form of partisanship is now a moral necessity. The Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy. The problem is not just Donald Trump; it’s the larger political apparatus that made a conscious decision to enable him. In a two-party system, nonpartisanship works only if both parties are consistent democratic actors. If one of them is not predictably so, the space for nonpartisans evaporates. We’re thus driven to believe that the best hope of defending the country from Trump’s Republican enablers, and of saving the Republican Party from itself, is to do as Toren Beasley did: vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes (very preferably the former).”

    And this:

    “So we arrive at a syllogism:

    (1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.
    (2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
    (3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.”

    1. Toren Beasley is a random voter from Virginia who recently was interviewed by the Washington Post. He explained his Democratic vote in terms of a boycott of all things Trump, namely, Republicans.

    2. I’m picturing Russia like a big yacht parallel parked along the Chesapeake Bay in front of our nation’s capitol under the shadow of a great green and blue marijuana legalization tsunami. Democrats are on the crest shouting down at Republicans “Go High!” But either the few smart ones are already bailing in a hopeless rescue boat trying to face the tsunami head on, (Roger Stone) while the rest (Pete and Jeff Sessions) just drink another cocktail and pretend the tsunami isn’t there. And so the wicked Keebler Klan was smote from the earth.

      Russian money launderers DO care about marijuana legalization. If banks dont have to hide illegal marijuana cash anymore it makes it harder for Russian launderers to hide their own cash to avoid sanctions.

      1. We marijuana legalizers and consumers don’t want to live in a Trump-Putin Amerikan dictatorship.

        I’m no expert on Russian culture, but marijuana legalization, as a political activity, presumes the acceptance of the legitimacy of the rule of law, and further presumes a democratic process for making and changing these laws; I am assuming that neither of these premises is true for the average Russian stoner( assuming there is such a thing.)

        I assume Putin’s primary use for Trump is to diminish American global influence abroad, so they can invade Ukraine unchallenged, for example. But domestic to the USA, if what you say about marijuana and Russian money laundering is true, then Trump definitely most opposes marijuana legalization, since he covers for anything Russia does, and especially if he himself is criminally complicit with them!

      2. You got it. But to be fair, the racist private prison and pharmaceutical campaign endorsed Trump’s campaign in February of 2016, sealing the deal for his prohibitionist stance. Interestingly enough, Trump began his campaign with blaming Mexicans for our failed drug policies before Sessions endorsed him. Even more notable, Trump once said prohibition was a failure back in ’89 at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic ignited by our own CIA thorugh the DOJ. What changed? It was his failure of three casinos he plunged into bankruptcy during the 90’s that eventually lead to no US banks loaning any money to Trump. So Trump went into debt with the Russians and started laundering Russian money to keep the lights on at Trump tower. Bribes and law suits are one way to screw your credit, but it was the 20 year tax write off for the losses in his casinos that expired in 2016 that made him run for President… and the Russians saw the opportunity to cash in their loans.

        One of the biggest lies of the Trump campaign was that he was “running on his own money.” But he would end up loaning out his borrowed Russian cash to his doners on interest. Trump never planned to win; he just wanted the publicity to get his own Fox news show and pay off his tax and Russian debt. But the voter supressing Kochs and the Mercers also saw a useful idiot. And everyone had a need to hide dark money in the era of Citizens United. This is where bad billionaires (Kochs, Mercers, John Paulson) and (and their rotten orange wannabe) had something in common with secret DOJ bank accounts, druglords and Russian oligarchs. As money-washing casinos magnates like Sheldon Adelson come to power it seems like all the patents and purpose of prohibition are sitting at the same table and we end up with money laundering vs. marijuana legalization.

      3. You’ve really given this a lot of thought. Thanks for elaborating on the the context and the connections.

  2. I fear the odds of the Republican, Bob Goodlatte, ever doing the right thing is rather slim.

    Virginians, take note, let’s vote this guy the hell out as soon as we get the chance!!! He is bad for Virginians and he is bad for our country!

    Make sure you all get out and vote this coming November. Let’s make our voices heard – loud and clear.

    If Virginia does not legalize cannabis for adult use my wife and I have decided to move somewhere, like Colorado or California, where we can live our lives basking in the freedom that should be for all Americans.

    1. Miles,
      What I have come to understand about Republicans and marijuana:

      1. Most Republicans oppose legalization.
      2. The Republicans who do support legalization will always vote with the Republican Pary, regardless.
      3. The Republican Party always opposes legalization.

      So, Republicans who support legalization are worse than useless; they are nothing but a deceptive distraction, like false advertising. Their personal intentions and beliefs are irrelevant as a result of their unwavering devotion to the cult of the GOP.

      Boycott ALL REPUBLICANS!

      1. I hear you Mark and I can tell you, for certain, that I will vote every chance I get and none of my votes will ever go to a Republican!!!

        I no longer have any trust, whatsoever, in them doing the right thing. I will always remember Goodlatte and it won’t be a pleasant memory. His kind are just despicable! In my mind him and Roy Moore were cut from the same cloth. I hate them.

      2. Correction: I should have said “until recently” most Republicans opposed legalization, and “at 51%, support among Republicans remains tepid.”

        Fifty-one percent of Republicans surveyed by Gallup (Oct 2017) said they support legalization, up sharply from 42 percent a year ago. Even larger majorities of independents (67 percent) and Democrats (72 percent) are in favor of legal marijuana.

        An interesting milestone, but it doesn’t change the overall situation.

      3. Obama controlled all three branches of government.

        Why didn’t he legalize marijuana?

        You are just a hater.

      4. @ Joe Preusz,
        But, Trump and his white supremacist Republicans us so many, many valid reasons to hate him, and them! President Obama has more class in his little toe than Trump’s entire phony fucking administration.

        Yeah, it’s true: I don’t have any use for White Trash like Trump and his supporters. Crawl back under the rocks where you belong.

      5. I hate marijuana prohibition. And I hate the liars that promote it. So naturally, I hate Trump and the Republicans!

      6. Joe,

        The Republiks control all three branches of the Fed. Why haven’t they legalized?

      7. @Joe Preusz: Oh fancy that! Trump calling other people “haters”. Trump voters and supporters are the real haters. If their vote for a sociopathic, misanthropic, and sexist bigot is not a hate crime, it sure as hell ought to be.

  3. THE PEOPLE of the U.S are tired of the lies and Jeff sessions THE will of the people time to regulate like alcohol the peoples choice .Besides look at the Trillions of dollars that have been lost fighting a losing battle .tax it no one has ever OD from cannabis .

  4. Marijuana is the safest drug known to man. It is safer than any pill that is man made. It should be taken off the federal schedule 1 list. It is a life saver that can help millions of people. Think of this, if we were fighting for alcohol to be legal, it probably wouldn’t happen now days because of all the negative affects of alcohol. Marijuana doesn’t have anywhere near the negative affects of alcohol. Stop trying to control a natural herb that grows on this green earth.

    1. The only death marijuana has caused is that inflicted by over zealous law enforcement officers

  5. We should be asking WHY the U.S. has a patent on marijuana. But it’s ok if the pharmaceutical corporation wants to make synthetic marijuana who wants that not me. Money talks and a lot of politicians walk to the bank.

    1. These committee chairs are far too powerful and should be eliminated. A single person should not have absolute say in what bills become laws, and this essentially is what happens. The subcommittee agenda should be determined by vote, or in the least the decision by a committee chair should be allowed to be vetoed by the committee.


    2. Elizabeth,
      We have a responsibility as marijuana legalization advocates to educate our brothers and sisters about the great difference between the natural balanced homeostasis and synergy we get from whole plant marijuana and separate this difference from the patented deadly synthetic molecules we prescribe from pharmaceutical private insurance…

      Plants vs Zombies…

    3. US Patent 6630507 on “cannabinoids as neuroprotectants” was mentioned in affidavits recently filed in the case of Washington v Sessions, where 12-year-old Alexis Bortell will testify against AG Jeff Sessions and the CSAct. Oral arguments are scheduled for the 14th, wednesday on Valentine’s Day.

  6. GOOD news to hear. Write your Congress folk! A hearing must be held, and, if so, will shed more light on the great debate and push for legalization.

  7. i am glad to hear this.

    lately, the dems seem to be more concernsd with granting rights to illegal immigrants,
    than protecting the rights of citizens.

    like shutting down the government over DACA,

    and the 8 hour pelosi DACA fillibuster that just happened.

    1. @ dissapointed,
      We Democrats stand with Dreamers AND stoners.


      So go fuck yourself.

    2. THAT, is why hillary lost.

      while trump was talking about
      (lying about)
      helping the working class people,

      hillary was making HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars,
      giving speeches to the super-rich at gold man sacks…
      (she made more $$$ in an hour,
      than we can make in a lifetime)

      then, she refused to release the transcripts of those speeches,
      so we could not find out what government-paid-for gifts,
      she promised to give to them…

      and she never promised ANYTHING to us.

      she did not say one word about marijuana legalization,
      or medical marijuana,

      she did not even want to raise the minimum wage.

      we need democrats,
      who will be REAL democrats,
      and work for US,

      NOT ‘republican-lite’ democrats,
      (d.i.n.o. s; dems-in-name-only)
      who work for the exact same people the republicans work for.

      1. @ dinos,
        Your obsession with Hillary marks you as a lunatic Trump supporter. Consequently, you may go fuck yourself. The Resistance will deal with you and your kind of Russian traitors.

      2. People, here’s what is going on with commentor “dinos”: Do you remember how, during the 2016 Presidential Election, Russian trolls and bots pretended to be Bernie supporters?

        Same thing here.

        Dinos isn’t coming from the left, he is coming from the alt-right. He isn’t concerned, as Bernie was, about Corporate Influence and “dark money” in politics. Make no mistake: he is trying to divide the left in order to protect Trump.

        Don’t fall for that shit!

      3. P.S. Hillary isn’t running for office. She no longer holds a public office. She is a private citizen.

        One sure way to spot a Trump fascist is, if they have an obsession with Hillary Clinton.

        It’s a sickness!

  8. Okay let’s look at history when prohibition was against alcohol who became powerful. The bootlegging gangsters Who Sold alcohol. Who became rich and Powerful from selling pot the South American cartels. Who in turn also push opiates and cocaine. Remember the crack epidemic. Remember the Fast and Furious operation and the CIA involvement. Need I say more.

  9. Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (Amendment 1), yet Rep. Goodlatte has refused to hold a hearing on marijuana since he took over as the Chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee, where any serious reform legislation would originate.

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor (Amendment 6), yet the elimination of the Obama Administration’s marijuana enforcement guidance will … subvert the will of voters who have clearly indicated a preference for legalized marijuana in their states. Further … Attorney General Sessions fails to provide any evidence that prosecuting marijuana in states where it has been legalized will make Americans safer.

  10. Jeff Bogart Sessions should be in jail for perjury. We have a criminal parading as a US Attorney General and threatening to wage a more aggressive war against cannabis. This criminal says that good people don’t use marijuana. Deplorables argue that Sessions can’t enforce the laws he wants. I would counter argue that we can’t have a criminal enforcing the laws of the United States.

  11. So our A.G. cares more about his greedy capitalistic agenda with big pharma than he does the actual wellbeing of the American people he is supposed to be serving. He also enjoys arresting impoverished minorities on simple possession to keep the contracted prison system filled with inmates who could never afford a good attorney, to keep the poor man down. Our present A.G. is acting selfishly and disgracefully, and by his own actions would rather worry about keeping his job than to have a conscience that ensures safe medical and recreational resources stay in place. What happened to “of the people, by the people, for the people?”


  13. re; Mark Mitcham;

    1. i am not a reppie.
    they REALLY suck.
    my brother is one.
    he REALLY sucks.

    if the dems were really on the side of the working man,
    (as they claim to be,)
    THEN, i would be a dem.
    (also, they would win EVERY election, with a landslide victory,
    because there are WAY more workers, then bosses)

    BUT, they are not,
    so i am not a dem.

    2. do we have to be as overpopulated as india is,
    before we wake up ???

    3. look at how blacks are treated here;
    how the mexicans are treated;
    how the american indians are treated;
    (like shit)

    and then, tell me why many whites,
    including you, Mark Mitcham,
    are SO EAGER,
    to VOLUNTARY become a minority,
    so that we can be treated like shit, by them,
    when they are the majority.

    (which is a CERTAINTY,
    if current trends continue,
    JUST FROM THE (non-white) PEOPLE that are ALLREADY HERE, having WAY more kids, then whites do.)

    this has NOTHING to do with hatred or racism,
    it is just fact;
    people like to be, with their own kind;

    i have cubans, and mexicans, living on my street.
    they look EXACTLY THE SAME to me.
    they both speak spanish.
    they will not have ANYTHING to do with each other.
    EACH TREATS THE OTHER, like they are not there.

    people like to be with their own kind.
    the “melting pot” idea was, and still is, ‘politically correct’ B.S.

    do italians go out of their way to hang out with the irish ???
    but, they are both white,
    both speak english,
    both have been here for about 100 years.
    no “melting pot” effect, has occured.

    4. reppies are against dreamers,
    but they LOVE exploiting workers,
    ESPECIALLY the illegal ones.

    1. @ dissapointed,
      You are a white supremacist, as your own words illustrate. I find your views repugnant.

      You may not call yourself a Republican, but you certainly fit right in, given your white supremacist agenda! I think you are a hard-core racist Trump supporter.

      That makes you a fucking Nazi, too, by the way. And a traitor. And a he-man woman hater. And a bigot… And on and on and on… All the shitty things Trump has said and done, and you Republicans just can’t stop licking his feet, it is truly disgusting to witness.

      But, here’s my question: what are you when you step into the voting booth?

      And, here’s my offer: swear to me that you will never vote Republican ever again, and I will stop calling you a Nazi and a jackass and a Republican.

      (Not that I owe you or your fascist, pussy-grabbing, shit-hole President a goddamn thing.)

    2. If you, disappointedbydems, were really for marijuana legalization you wouldnt be derailing our conversation, but elevating it by tapping on the ACT tab and contacting your Congressman.

      The enemy here is the hamartia of your own participation in the legislative process. Stop whining and click on the ACT tab!

      1. Notice how the trolls always come out when the title or header has a pic or a mention of Sessions in it?

      2. Yeah. I think these trolls are trying to paint Trump as the “good cop,” by painting Sessions as the “bad cop.” But Trump is no better than Sessions.

        Trump nominated Sessions, and Republican Senators confirmed him. That was no accident.

        They’re all cut from the same white hooded sheets.

  14. Man, you bunch of liberals and left wing conspiracy theorists are humorous. Listen, I am a conservative (republican identifier) with a wife who happens to have cancer. I am not anti-marijuana, in fact I am pro and will forever be. I saw first hand the results of Simpson oil. Now you can all go about calling this a Russia BS made up conspiracy, or you can put on your big boy/girl pants, come together and form a voice as the people and work together (because that is not what they want, and they wouldn’t know what to do when we are not fighting and wearing vagina hats). You want to get this solved, me 2 and a whole bunch of other republicans. You hate sessions, guess what, me 2… You think this is BS -Yeah me 2… But you Buch of people are too busy trying to make problems instead of working together.. Stop being so damn ignorant, and lets get this shit done. I don’t care if you are gay, straight, woman, man, xgender, or whatever… This shit needs to change, we need to change it and damn quickly. I don’t care who is in office, its all the same shit….. Join together and get over the stupidity already. They are playing us against each other.

    1. @ John Alexander,
      Boy, get it through your thick skull: it is way too fucking late for bipartisanship. The Republicans (that’s you) have made their deal with the devil, and now the Republicans (that’s you) must pay the price.

      Fuck off.

    2. @ John Alexander,
      You have a choice: 1) you can change your party affiliation to Independent or Democrat; or, 2) you can rot in hell with Trump and the rest of his lickspittle Republicans.

      I don’t give a fuck which one you choose. But the goddamn Republicans, by way of their total embrace of Trump, have waived all right to be treated with respect. You racist shits will get no cover from me.

      Now, I said, fuck off!!

  15. re; Dain Bramage;
    (there is so much truth in your name)

    1. Bernie, had REAL, GRASSROOT support.

    2. only 20 % of ELIGIBLE voters vote dem.

    only 20 % of ELIGIBLE voters vote reppie.

    60 % of ELIGIBLE voters HATE BOTH PARTIES,
    and DO NOT vote.
    (some, like me, vote 3rd party, but not enough to make a difference in a system heavily rigged in favor of the major parties.)

    3. re; Hillary isn’t running for office. She no longer holds a public office.

    SO WHAT ???
    i didn’t say ‘lock her up’, even though she surely earned it.

    all i said about her was;
    “she never promised ANYTHING to working class peole, or to the marijuana legalization movement.
    THAT, is why she lost.”

    Bernie did, that was his entire platform, and he would have won, but for being sabotaged by the DNC and MSM.

    re; She is a private citizen.

    SO WHAT ???
    so are the koch brothers, soros, rupert murdock, and henry kissinger, just to name a few famous ones.
    you do not need to be IN gov’t,
    to have MASSIVE political influence over it.

    1. @ dinos,
      Stop wasting my time with bullshit. I, for one, am a part of The Resistance, and proud of it!

      Join us! Get on the big blue wave, and vote Democratic on Election Day, in order to punish Trump!

      It’s the only way.

      Or maybe you don’t think Trump deserves punishment? Well, that fucking figures!

    2. I’m sorry, you must be lost. This is not the Yahoo comment section. This is the blog for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law. We’re trying to keep sick people out of jail and off the meds…
      …but heey… if you like… you can click on this ACT tab… …then smoke or vaporize a bowl of mj… or use a suppository… whatever floats your boat. Then come back if you would like to share your Congressional response to your letter, some epiphany you encountered about participating in the legislative process or something “marijuana reform” related.

  16. Most cannabis “only” federal raids are non-violent and generally peaceful, so it’s an easy score for the feds.
    It’s can be scary, an accidental firearm may engage and accidentally injure. However, the unjust go for quota if arrests aren’t high enough or an auction is desired to fund whatever (??!!??). The Feds,so-called “score” should not use resources in States that have a cannabis policy. Injustice must end and the seizure from families, taking away their American Dream, to heal, to mend, to work hard and serve a purpose and excel at best, to spread and have peace within and even be without pain, to accept and alliw healing.
    Please keep state laws as they are. Any adversity of the law, e.g gangs, cartels, underground and non-tax schemes shoukd be dealt with as criminals, a their intent is non-law abiding and unacceptable.

  17. Can anybody tell me what schedule of drugs aspirin is on I can tell you none aspirin has been used widely way before the FDA or the DEA or ever formed that’s why they have no say over it just like cannibas that’s what we have to take are lawsuits to cannibas the word from ancient times so used to transport ships full of cannabis all over world cannibas everyone knows that word that’s why Harry anslinger had to invent a word marijuana because if he said cannibas prohibition people would have thought he was talking out his ass so he invented the word marijuana in 1936 to scare people about blacks and Mexicans they smoke that marijuana and they will rape your white daughters and wives

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