Congressional Hearing Scheduled: Marijuana Laws In America

On Wednesday, July 10th, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security will hold a hearing entitled “Marijuana Laws in America:  Racial Justice and the Need for Reform” to discuss pathways forward as the Congress prepares for a substantial shift in public policy.

“For the first time in recent memory, there will be a candid conversation in the Judiciary Committee about the failures of marijuana prohibition in the United States and how people have been impacted,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “We look forward to working with the subcommittee to best inform the conversation in committee next week and the public at large on the implications of how Congress should move forward.”

Currently, there are dozens of pieces of legislation that have been filed to address aspects of the prohibition and criminalization of cannabis, ranging from tweaks to allow for scientific research into the plant to comprehensive approaches that end prohibition and provide resources for the expungement of criminal records.

The witnesses for the Democratic caucus include States Attorney Marilyn Mosby of Baltimore, Dr. Malik Barnett, Dr. David Nathan. The witness called by the Republican caucus is Neal Levine.

The Judiciary Committee is chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), whose support of marijuana policy reform dates back to the ’70s when he was a state lawmaker in New York.

The Subcommittee is chaired by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), who recently voted in favor of restricting the Department of Justice from enforcing prohibition in states that have reformed, including her home state of California.

It is expected that the committee will be taking up legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition and criminalization later this year, but it is not known if they will consider existing legislation or a yet-to-be-introduced comprehensive package.

You can click here to tweet to Rep. Nadler and Rep. Bass thanking them for scheduling the hearing.