U.S. Senate Committee to review marijuana laws in September

In Regulatory, Top Stories by David Silverberg

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced recently that the Committee will hold a hearing next month on the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws, according to a release.

The hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 10, at 10 a.m. ET

Leahy has urged the Obama administration to determine its enforcement policy in light of several states legalizing marijuana and many more legalizing the use of medical marijuana.

Leahy is expected to call upon Attorney General Eric Holder to testify, seeking clarity on the administration’s policy since Holder said in December and February that an announcement would come “relatively soon,” as this report explains.
“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 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing will focus on reconciling federal and state marijuana laws, which have led to frustration and unpredictable federal crackdowns of those in the medical marijuana community, as ThinkProgress writes.

Several proposed bills will be up for discussion, such as The Ending Federal Prohibition On Marijuana Act of 2013: it would remove all forms of marijuana from the schedules in the Controlled Substances Act, meaning marijuana would not only be legal under federal law, but that it would be available for federal research funds and would allow pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana.

Image courtesy Flickr user Chuck Hagel