Cannabis Legalization Hearing Held by Congressional Committee

of House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties On November 8, it announced it would hold a public hearing to discuss the legalization of cannabis on November 15. The official title of the hearing is “Development of state cannabis laws and bipartisan cannabis reform at the federal level’ was a joint memo. Published on November 12 Summarize the points of discussion.

The hearing was led by Rep. Jamie Ruskin (Subcommittee Chair) and Rep. Nancy Mace (Subcommittee Ranking Member), Rep. Ayanna Presley of Massachusetts, and Peter Anderson of Texas. It was accompanied by a question from Congressman Sessions. New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney; New York Rep. Brian Higgins; New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Eleanor Holmes Norton (U.S. Representative representing the District of Columbia); Rep. James Comer of Kentucky and Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois.

witness include Randall Woodfin (Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama), Paul Armentano (NORML Deputy Director), Andrew Friedman (Executive Director, Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation) [CPEAR]), Eric Goepel (Founder and CEO of Veterans Cannabis Coalition), Keeda Haynes (Remotely Connected Free Hearts Senior General Counsel), Amber Littlejohn (Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce Senior Policy Counsel), and Jillian Snider (Criminal Policy Director) Justice and Civil Liberties).

Debates range from cannabis legalization, the failed war on drugs, how Biden’s October federal cannabis conviction amnesty announcement requires state action to help people, and the treatment of veterans seeking relief with cannabis. , covered various facts such as the potential of hemp. Building materials (and related legal issues).

NORML’s Armentano provided many strong facts and statements about legalization, showing how the cannabis industry impacted black and brown people. “By adjusting our cannabis schedules, we are helping the tens of millions of Americans who live in states where cannabis is legal in some way, and the hundreds of thousands who work in the state-licensed industries that serve them. millions of people will no longer face unnecessary hurdles to access financial services, loans, insurance, Second Amendment rights, tax credits, certain professional security clearances, and other privileges. Discrimination such as lack,” says Armentano.

R Street Institute’s Snider added that the country’s approach to legalization is cumbersome due to varying levels of regulation. “The proposed federal law shows increased support for alternatives to federal cannabis bans, and because the current situation presents contradictions and sublegal conundrums, this increased support could be used to It’s important to clarify the overall legal status,” Snyder said. “A substance may be legal in one state and decriminalized in another, but is still prohibited at the federal level, subjecting the user or owner of the substance to criminal penalties. ”

Towards the end of the hearing, Ruskin asked Armentano about his hopes that Congress could work together to make it legal. “So, Mr. Armentano, do you think Congress can catch up to where the majority of states are now in terms of medical marijuana and decriminalization and legalization? [Mayor Woodfin] Said. Do you think Congress can actually do that? We know this hearing is a promising sign, but what are the chances of this actually happening this Congress or the next? Do you think that?”

Whether looking into the history of alcohol prohibition or into the history of cannabis, Armentano responded by explaining that historically prohibition has never worked. is not written, but I hope that members of Congress will understand the need to act quickly.” Description of Armentano“You see, to use your analogy with alcohol prohibition, the federal government pulled out of the alcohol prohibition business when 10 states chose to go a different route. The majority of U.S. states We are now choosing to go our separate ways when it comes to cannabis, and we cannot maintain this chasm between where the states have this policy and where the federal government is. needs to find a way to align federal and state policies, and that’s through scheduling.”

Mace and Ruskin made their conclusions based on what they heard at the hearing and what they hoped it would bring in the near future.

Mace denounced previous references comparing cannabis to slavery. She noted data showing black and brown people were four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis, and it’s up to both Congresses to address the issue. So the difference between rich and poor is often black and white and cannabis is an area where we can work together on both sides of the aisle to prevent more of these inequalities across the country. A mistake that has lasted for years mace said“And I encourage my fellow Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the aisle to get on board with this issue. The American people want it. 70% of Americans support medical cannabis.” From the red states of South Carolina to the blue states of California, half or more support adult or recreational use nationwide.From the East Coast to the West Coast.Every Community, Every Skin Americans of color, of all ages, support this issue.It’s only here in the capital halls that it’s controversial, and it’s wrong.”

Speaker Raskin closed the hearing with a statement of his own addressing the need for action from Congress. “Congress needs to catch up and that is what this hearing was about and what I learned today. If you read the article, you’ll see that America has experienced this before.And it’s not like alcohol is like birthday cake. Accidents kill more than 100,000 people a year and need to be regulated.” Ruskin said.

“But the country has had experience trying to criminalize alcohol. We know, even with marijuana, we need regulation, we need to manage it carefully, but we shouldn’t put people in jail for any period of the day for smoking marijuana. I will put you in jail.It makes no sense.Don’t let this ruin people’s lives.I think the country has made a decision.It’s time for Congress to catch up.”

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