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U.S. Lawmakers Hold Historic Hearing to Discuss Cannabis Legalization

Congress Marijuana

The U.S. House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee held a hearing on July 10th to discuss various legislative proposals to allow states to set their own cannabis policies without fear of federal interference. Titled “Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform,” the hearing was the first in congressional history to explore the prospect of ending federal cannabis prohibition.

“Two-thirds of all the states have now adopted legalization or medical cannabis policies, and it’s time for Congress to finally address the conflicts between state and federal law,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a political organization that has played a central role in enacting over half of these state-level policies. “This hearing, which recognizes the racist effects of prohibition, is a positive step forward, and we hope it serves as a starting point for real legislative action this year.”

The hearing is expected to lay the groundwork for future legislative markups by the full House Judiciary Committee on legislation such as the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES Act), the Marijuana Justice Act, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, and the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.