Leahy: SJC Will Hold Hearing On Federal And State Marijuana Laws In September

Committee To Hold Hearing September 10

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that the Committee will hold a hearing next month on the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws.  Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole have been invited to testify. 

The hearing titled “Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws” comes months after two states, Washington and Colorado, legalized small amounts of marijuana for personal use.  Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal marijuana consumption.  Leahy has pressed the Obama administration to determine its enforcement policy in light of these state actions, including writing in December to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) about the issue.  Leahy has also asked what assurances the administration can give to state officials responsible for the licensing of marijuana retailers to ensure they will not face criminal penalties for carrying out their duties under those state laws.

“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,” Leahy said. “I believe that these state laws should be respected.  At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government.”

The hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 10, at 10 a.m. in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.  A witness list will be announced closer to the date of the hearing. Reporters interested in covering the hearing should RSVP to their respective press galleries.

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The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing entitled “Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws” for Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

By order of the Chairman.

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