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Congressional Hearing on Marijuana Legalization Today

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). β€œIt 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, β€œI 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.

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