Anti-Legalization Congressional Panel to Meet Next Week

Marijuana prohibitionists will testify in front of a Congressional panel next week, claiming that the Obama administration has mishandled recreational marijuana legalization, according to a report.

The U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control hearing will feature Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, who led the lawsuit against Colorado’s legalization of cannabis; Benjamin Wagner, a U.S. attorney from California who cracked down on dispensaries during Barack Obama’s first term; and Kathryn Wells, a board member for Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) chair the caucus, which will hear “Is the Department of Justice Adequately Protecting the Public from the Impact of State Recreational Marijuana” on Tuesday.

Feinstein and Grassley requested the U.S. Government Accountability Office find out whether the DOJ’s monitoring of legal marijuana was satisfactory. The report, released last month, alleges that the Justice Department did not have a clear plan for deciding when to enforce federal law against legal marijuana programs.

“The one-sided lineup of witnesses suggests this will be more of a prohibitionist pity party than an open and honest discussion about what’s actually happening in states like Colorado and Washington,” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told’s Tom Angell.

Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Washington, D.C. have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Initiatives in as many as six additional states could be on November ballots.

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