Marijuana Moment reports
Senators on a key Judiciary subcommittee are set to hold a hearing on marijuana reform on Tuesday—and the witnesses include former federal cannabis prisoner Weldon Angelos and anti-marijuana proselytizer Alex Berenson.
Tell Your Children – I’ll be testifying tomorrow about cannabis legalization before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on crime.https://t.co/nMMxT2uqA7
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) July 25, 2022
The Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism, chaired by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), has five witnesses scheduled to testify, according to a list obtained by Marijuana Moment that was later publicly posted by the panel.
Here’s the list of witnesses for the hearing, titled “Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms.”
Malik Burnett, 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. He currently serves as the medical director of harm reduction services at the Maryland Department of Health.
Weldon Angelos, a former federal marijuana prisoner who received a presidential pardon under the Trump administration and has continued to push for clemency for other people with federal cannabis convictions through his organization The Weldon Project.
Edward Jackson, chief of police at the Annapolis Police Department and a speaker at the pro-reform group Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP).
Steve Cook, former federal prosecutor who previously served as president of the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys. Known as a drug warrior who supports taking a carceral approach in criminal justice, Cook was appointed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to work in DOJ as associate deputy attorney general and led a marijuana review panel for the department ahead of the Trump administration’s rescission of Obama-era cannabis enforcement memos.
Alex Berenson, former New York Times reporter who has faced ample criticism over his questionable research linking marijuana use to serious mental illness and violent crime, and who was at one point banned from Twitter for claims he made about COVID-19 vaccines.
The choice of witnesses offers a preview of the kind of debate that the majority and minority will take up at the hearing. And the fact that Berenson was picked by Senate Republicans to go before the panel signals that there will be diametrically opposed perspectives represented at the meeting.
More specifically, it hints that there will be drama, as Berenson is not a person who’s known for subtlety and has became notorious on social media for offering contrarian takes on current events, particularly as they concern marijuana and COVID.
Senators Pick Former Marijuana Prisoner, Anti-Cannabis Alex Berenson And More To Testify At Reform Hearing