On Wednesday, October 23rd, members of the Senate Senate International Narcotics Control Caucus (aka the Drug Caucus) will hold a hearing entitled “Marijuana and America’s Health: Questions and Issues for Policy Makers.”
The caucus is co-chaired by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), both of whom historically have espoused prohibitionist beliefs regarding cannabis. Witnesses at the hearing include US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who has recently issued various sensational statements about marijuana, Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as well as a number of academics and clinicians.
Speaking today, Caucus Chair Cornyn opined, “We’re hearing a lot of the same happy talk with regard to marijuana and none of the facts that we need to understand about the public health impact of marijuana use.”
The positions of Senators Coryn and Feinstein are likely to receive pushback from Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), the newest member to join the Drug Caucus and a supporter of ending federal prohibition. As a representative of a legal state, Senator Rosen has routinely spoken out about the need to reduce the federal barriers that hamper the state-licensed cannabis industry.
“While many of the members of the Drug Caucus are traditional prohibitionists, expanding the dialogue in the Senate is crucial to our ability to move legislation through the chamber,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “It is our hope that lawmakers serve as representatives of their constituents, a majority of whom oppose federal criminalization and support a regulated consumer marketplace.”
A live stream broadcasting the hearing is available on the Drug Caucus’s youtube channel or below: