- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have demanded a hearing over the Trump administration’s recent decision to end an Obama-era marijuana policy that advised federal authorities against intervening in states with medical and recreational weed laws in place.

“We are deeply concerned by the recent action by Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions rescinding Department of Justice (DOJ) marijuana enforcement guidance issued during the Obama administration,” 11 lawmakers led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, wrote in a letter sent to Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, Vice News reported Monday. “We write to request a hearing of the full Judiciary Committee regarding this decision.”

Marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 substance on par with heroin under federal law, notwithstanding 29 states and counting having legalized the plant for either medical or recreational purposes.

The Justice Department under former President Obama issued a memorandum in 2013 advising authorities against enforcing federal drug laws in those states, the so-called “Cole Memo,” but Mr. Sessions abruptly declared those policies null and void last month effective immediately, casting a cloud over the future of the nation’s commercial cannabis markets.

“The Judiciary Committee has a fundamental duty to conduct oversight on the Department of Justice,” the Democrats wrote. “It is critical that the members of our committee have an opportunity to ask questions about this recent rescission in a formal setting and evaluate potential legislation related to marijuana. Therefore, we respectfully request a hearing by the full Committee on these issues

A representative for Mr. Goodlatte did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

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