Leading US Senators Convene Anti-Marijuana Hearing

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate April 5, 2016

    marijuana_gavelMembers of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, lead by Senate Judiciary Chairman, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) gathered this morning for a hearing titled, “Is the Department of Justice Adequately Protecting the Public from the Impact of State Recreational Marijuana Legalization?”

    Invited participants at today’s hearing included an advisory board member for a national anti-marijuana organization and the Nebraska Attorney General who sought to overturn Colorado’s marijuana regulation laws by filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court. Clearly, Senator Grassley and co-chair, Senator Feinstein (D-CA) did not gather lawmakers to discuss how to move marijuana policy reform forward, but backwards.

    Senator Grassley’s hearing appeared, by and large, to be an effort to try and shame the Department of Justice into taking action to overturn the regulatory laws of states that are presently regulating marijuana production and sale. The panelists presented a laundry list of purported dangers that they claimed to be the result of changes in marijuana laws, such as supposed spikes in teenage use and traffic collisions.

    There was, however, one highlight for marijuana reformers during today’s hearing. When witness Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of California, Sacramento, California was asked by Sen. Grassley as to why the Department of Justice isn’t challenging adult use marijuana state laws, he responded: “The decision to intervene would not be solely based on data. If we took out regulation of the market and just left decriminalization, it may leave a more chaotic system than it is now.”

    By contrast, arguably the hearing’s lowlight came from Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who spoke longingly of about the decade of ‘Just Say No’ and claimed, “[G]ood people don’t smoke marijuana.”

    The hearing’s tone, while predictable, is nonetheless disappointing. That is because the CARERS Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen statewide medical marijuana protections, is pending before the US Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Grassley. To date, the senator has pledged not to hear the bill, despite the fact that medical marijuana legalization is supported by 80 percent of his own constituents and an estimated 78 percent of voters nationwide.

    If you live in Iowa, you can contact Senator Grassley and urge him to hold hearings on the CARERS Act here. If you don’t live in Iowa, you can urge your own elected officials to support the CARERS Act here.

    To view an archived video of today’s Congressional hearing, please visit: http://www.drugcaucus.senate.gov/hearings.

    55 responses to “Leading US Senators Convene Anti-Marijuana Hearing”

    1. Steve Moriarty says:

      Sen Sessions, I am a disabled veteran. You are saying that I I am not a good person.

      • Toby Keith says:

        Yes brother, he is trying to justify why he is a bad person. Blaming smoking herb for his missteps is the only thing keeping him sane!

    2. StAugBassman says:

      How is it they (Sen. Grassley & company) have the audacity to continue pursuing this when a majority of the population of just the USA want it legalized. Do they not hear about all of the polls and recommendations in favor of legalization or are they turning a deaf ear!?!

      It really boils my blood that this continues, against the WILL OF THE PEOPLE!

      Somehow or another they have gotten WAY too much power, and the corruption to go with it!

      • Leslie says:

        Ditto. It’s the US political system that is broken. Until Americans understand we now live in an oligarchy, not a democracy, these trends will continue and get more insane. Americans in general no longer wish to be or value being educated. So heartbreaking…this is not the country I thought I grew up in.

      • Les says:

        None of the politicians of today are for we the people. Being from Iowa. Grasslet will not get my vote in the next election…

    3. Marty says:

      Grassley is a senile old man (as are most of the Senators) that couldn’t see his dick in his hand, much the handwriting on the wall as far as legalization. The only this jerk off is in favor today is pureed peas and peaches, and ethanol for his backward state. Fuck him!!

    4. Richard Maccall says:

      Why is it the most ignorant are always the chairman of these committees? And to disregard his constituency to promote his own personal agenda, should be a felony.

    5. Quenton McConnell says:

      Please everyone in Iowa vote out Grassley! Send him a message that you won’t put up with his crap.

    6. Diane says:

      We need to vote you senile people out of office. You have heard what the American people want.
      More states have legalized weed. You need to do their will.

    7. Dave says:

      Is there any way to get a counter hearing started? One with the facts actually presented faithfully and without obstruction?

    8. Bill Dake says:

      This may be well meant, but it is the ssme stupid thinking that started the War on Drugs.

    9. Cat Cassie says:

      Oh don’t you just hate those nibby nosed old farts? Mind your own business thank you very much!

    10. Mark says:

      I am from Iowa and I will be voting all Democrat this year.

      It’s time for Iowa to chuck Chuck. Time for this old fart to retire. Not only should he be voted out for his prohibition position, but also gambling on a Supreme Court vacancy.

      What if Hillary or Bernie is the next president? Do you think they’ll select a conservative justice?

      • Toby Keith says:

        Wait a minute now brother! Feinstein is a Democrat from Cali! Its not a party thing its a freedom and evidence thing!