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Aug-26-2013 12:02printcomments

Senator Leahy Schedules Hearings on Marijuana, Calls for Federal Respect for State Laws

Attorney General Holder Invited to Hearing Scheduled for September 10.

Senator Patrick Leahy
Senator Patrick Leahy -

(WASHINGTON DC) - Today Senator Patrick Leahy (D – VT) invited Attorney General Eric Holder to a September 10 hearing to clarify the federal response to states that have passed marijuana laws in conflict with federal policy. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and Colorado and Washington last year became the first places in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana for personal use.

Holder has been saying that an announcement clarifying the federal response to these new state laws would be coming “soon” since last year. In the meantime, the federal government has continued to crack down on medical marijuana providers, leaving states and local communities unsure how best to proceed.

“Just as happened during the prohibition of alcohol, states are well ahead of the federal government in developing sensible marijuana policies,” said retired LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing, board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officers opposed to the war on drugs. “Right now, local law enforcement are doing everything they can to enforce these democratically enacted laws, but inconsistencies between stated policy and actions on behalf of the Justice Department have made that impossible.”

LEAP speakers will be available before and after the hearing for interviews.



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