Congressional Hearing on Marijuana Legalization Today

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director September 10, 2013

    Today at 2:30pm eastern, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold their first ever hearings regarding marijuana legalization and the conflict it creates between state and federal law. The hearing will be held in the Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216. You can live stream the hearing here.

    The hearing was scheduled by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). “It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal,” Senator Leahy stated, “I believe that these state laws should be respected.”

    In light of the recent Department of Justice memo, NORML believes these hearings can start a dialogue at the federal level that will pave the way for substantial reforms.

    “Hopefully these hearings will be just the beginning of what will become a substantive conversation on how the federal government will handle states opting out of federal marijuana prohibition,” said NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “To ensure that the changes detailed in the recent Department of Justice memo are upheld, Congress must act to enshrine into law the ability for states to set their own policy when it comes to marijuana.”

    Testifying at today’s hearing are Deputy Attorney General James Cole, King County Sheriff John Urquhart, Chief Legal Counsel to Colorado Governor Hickenlooper Jack Finlaw, and SAM founder Kevin Sabet.

    In addition to viewing the hearing live online, please take a moment to contact your elected officials and urge them to support federal legislation to end marijuana prohibition. You can quickly and easily do so through NORML’s Take Action Center here. Check back here on the NORML Blog after the hearing for a summary of the proceedings.

    45 responses to “Congressional Hearing on Marijuana Legalization Today”

    1. antonio figueroa jr says:

      I hope about allow smoke herbs !!!!

    2. nic says:

      If the federal gov. decides to step in and push aside the state rights, it will cause an even worse effect of the people feeling that their gov. is not willing to hear the people. Thus in return the fight will be even harder to get those on the fence to realize that they do listen. State rights should be upheld before federal. Every state is unique, let each decide its own fate. They will be known and judged on their own decisions.



    4. Ben says:

      So what was said? I didn’t get the news until after the scheduled time… Or was it cancelled due to this Syria madness?

    5. evtk3 says:

      this hearing confirmed absolutely nothing. fuck the DOJ.

    6. M.Sebastian Patrick says:

      I got a chance to watch it-and I know it’s gonna be the top story tomorrow. basically they were saying that the government has the power to stop the regulations put up by the state; but not the legalization itself-so this hearing was held because all the government could do if they sued is gut the regulations put forth by the states-but they are powerless against the will of the people to legalize. This was epic. I feel this is truly the first step toward federal marijuana regulation. It didn’t matter what the cronies said-the government is going to let this pass-and when seattle’s chief came out for legalization in his state right there in front of it all: epic.

    7. Don Berry says:

      It was refreshing to not see panic from the members of the committee or any hint that these legalization efforts would not go forward as planned. The most telling visual, it seemed to me, was the continuous hand wringing by the elderly woman sitting behind Mr. Sabat as she nodded vigorous agreement to his fearful and overblown concerns. Prohibition is on the way out, and those folks are in a tizzy.

    8. Cliff says:

      So this is the false flag? I want a real honest debate about reality and the future. Enough already about the draconian days and the will of the corporate government. They only want money. We deserve nothing they give us unless we take it. The game is so apparent we should all be screaming enough children yourtime is over and mytime begins.

    9. John Knezevich says:

      I wasn’t able to watch the hearing today. Is a recording or transcript of the hearing available online?