Congressional committee postpones hearing on D.C. marijuana decriminalization

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A congressional committee has moved to Friday a hearing on a recently passed D.C. law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The hearing, originally scheduled for Thursday, has miffed D.C. leaders who say it gives the impression of meddling in the city’s local affairs.

SEE ALSO: Hearing on marijuana decriminalization prompts fears of congressional interference

Local and federal law enforcement officials plan to testify at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing “Mixed Signals: The Administration’s Policy on Marijuana.”

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the District’s nonvoting congressional representative, will testify at the hearing and serve on the committee panel asking questions of other panelists. On Wednesday, she lashed out at Republican leaders for holding the hearing, saying that local leaders from other states have not been asked to testify in past hearings on the subject.

“In fact, there is nothing that distinguishes the District from the states that have decriminalized marijuana except for the illegitimate power of Congress to overturn the democratically enacted local laws of the District, in contravention of every American principle of local control of local affairs,” Ms. Norton said.

“Republicans say they support limiting the federal government’s power and devolving that power to states and localities. This hearing does the opposite,” she said.

Those expected to testify Thursday include Assistant Chief Peter Newsham of the D.C. police department, acting U.S. Park Police Chief Robert MacLean, acting Assistant Attorney General David O’Neil, and Seema Sadanandan of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital.

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