This Is The Unofficial List Of Witnesses To Testify On Federal Marijuana Decriminalization, Chosen By US Senators

This Is The Unofficial List Of Witnesses To Testify On Federal Marijuana Decriminalization, Chosen By US Senators

Senators of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism, which is setting up a hearing on marijuana reform, presented a non-definite list of possible witnesses to testify on Federal Cannabis Decriminalization, reported Marijuana Moment.

The hearing will be held on for Tuesday, July 26 at 02:30 PM (EST).

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), the main chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee, has five witnesses scheduled to testify, among them Weldon Angelos, a former federal marijuana prisoner, and Alex Berenson, an anti-cannabis proselytizer.

Who Are The Witnesses Non-Officially Announced So Far?

‘Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms’ was the name that the subcommittee assigned to the hearing where Malik Burnett, Weldon Angelos, and Edward Jackson so far, will participate as majority witnesses.

Burnett is a pro-legalization physician who formerly worked for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and previously testified in favor of reform before the U.S. House of Representatives. Now, he serves as the medical director of harm reduction services at the Maryland Department of Health.

Angelos is a former cannabis convict who received an early release in 2016, and now heads The Weldon Project and Mission Green.

Jackson is chief of police at the Annapolis Police Department and a speaker at the pro-reform group Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP).

As minority witnesses, the hearing will have Steve Cook, a former federal prosecutor who previously served as president of the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys.

Also, Alex Berenson was chosen by Senate Republicans, which shows diametrically opposed perspectives represented at the hearing. Berenson is a former New York Times reporter who has faced ample criticism over his questionable research linking marijuana use to serious mental illness and violent crime. Also, he was temporarily banned from Twitter for claims he made about COVID-19 vaccines.

Although two anti-reform witnesses will be part of the hearing, the importance here is to focus on the path forward for federal marijuana policy and not on upholding the status quo of prohibition.

What's the big picture?

Last week, U.S. Senate legislation presented a bill titled the Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act (CAOA) that would decriminalize and de-schedule cannabis on the federal level, while also promoting social equity. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senators Ron Wyden, and Cory Booker  presented it.

Moreover, new co-sponsors of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) got support from Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), and recently, two more Senate Democrats expressed support for the U.S. Senate bill that would decriminalize and de-schedule cannabis on the federal level.

Last but not least, President Joe Biden, recently, told reporters that his administration is "working" to fulfill his campaign promise to free nonviolent cannabis prisoners. "I don't think anyone should be in prison for using marijuana," the President said, reiterating the campaign promise.

Image by El Planteo

Posted In: Alex BerensonAnnapolis Police DepartmentCannabis Administration and Opportunity ActChuck SchumerCory BookerCovid-19Drug Policy AllianceEdward JacksonJudiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and CounterterrorismLaw Enforcement Action PartnershipMalik BurnettMaryland Department of HealthNational Association of Assistant United States AttorneysPresident Joe BidenRon WydenSteve CookThe Weldon ProjectWeldon AngelosCannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneral