Today at 2:30pm EST, the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a historic hearing for marijuana reform entitled “Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws.” Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT), who chairs the committee, has been calling for a sane approach to marijuana policy and hopes to shed light on the development of state-regulated marijuana markets in Colorado and Washington. There to obscure the truth in shadows will be rehabitionist Kevin Sabet, whose opposition to medical cannabis vaporization is just one way in which he defies science and reason.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will open landmark hearings today that could ultimately lead to the legalization of marijuana or at least resolve the deep divide between a federal government that has sent mixed messages on prosecuting users and the growing number of Americans who want the drug to be legal for medicinal or recreational use.
Scheduled testimony at the hearing includes Deputy Attorney General James Cole, whose August memo will be the primary focus of the opening panel. That memo laid out eight federal priorities that, if followed, should provide guidance to the 20 states with medical marijuana laws to avoid federal interference. A related conference call assured governors there would be no federal lawsuits to overturn the legalization measures in Washington and Colorado. There are also recent talks of allowing banks and other financial institutions leeway in working with state-regulated marijuana businesses.
Then, on the second panel, along with John Urquhart, the Sheriff of King County (Seattle) Washington and Jack Finlaw, the Chief Legal Counsel of the Office of Governor John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado, will be Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., the moral entrepreneur and co-founder and Director of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida.
Cataloging the deceit of Kevin Sabet on marijuana policy and science is something I’ve made a personal crusade -- Google my name and his and you’ll find plenty. Among his most recent obfuscations are claiming in the Christian Science Monitor that the coffee shops in the Netherlands now no longer serve foreigners (our Cannabis Cup attendees swear otherwise) and claiming his organization supports the use of CBD extract that helped little Charlotte Figi in the Dr. Sanjay Gupta "Weed” documentary, when his organization has opposed everything about the Colorado medical marijuana program that makes her recovery possible.
Questioning the panelists will be the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Leahy’s interest in reform is matched by the ranking member Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) fervent support of continued marijuana prohibition. No Senator from Colorado or Washington sits on this committee. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) headed the opposition to her state’s legalization attempt in 2010. States that have legalized medical use are well-represented on the committee, but Senators Durbin (D-IL), Whitehouse (D-RI), Coons (D-DE), Blumenthal (D-CT), Flake (R-AZ), and Hirono (D-HI) have varying opinions on their state’s medical use law. The remaining Senators Schumer (D-NY), Hatch (R-UT), Sessions (R-AL), Graham (R-SC), Klobuchar (D-MN), Cornyn (R-TX), Franken (D-MN), Lee (R-UT) and Cruz (R-TX) should also provide a wide range of questioning.
Will any of these senators be informed enough on cannabis and sensible enough to see through Sabet’s misdirection of cannabis consumers from arrests and prisons to drug courts and forced rehabs? Make sure they are informed and call these senators’ offices today! Our friends at NORML.org have the resources you need or just go straight to Senate.gov.