Sept. 10, 2013
The Senate Judiciary Committee will open landmark hearings Tuesday in the nation’s capital 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.
Requested by its committee chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, the timing was triggered by the announcement last month by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that federal authorities no longer will interfere as states increasingly adopt laws to either allow medical marijuana or legalize the drug entirely.
In calling for the hearing, Leahy himself questioned whether, at a time of severe budget cutting, federal prosecutions of marijuana users are the best use of taxpayer dollars.
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