The United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security debated marijuana reform this week.

Marijuana advocates called it a “historic” hearing entitled Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform,” on Wednesday, as many members of Congress said they wished to loosen federal laws and even legalize marijuana.

“Marijuana decriminalization may be one of the very few issues upon which bipartisan agreement can still be reached in this session,” commented Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif. He said “it ought to be crystal clear to everyone that our laws have not accomplished their goals.”

“There is a growing consensus in this country that current marijuana laws are not appropriate and we must consider reform,” said Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. “Today’s hearing is a first step in that process.”

“We need to reinvest in those individuals and those communities that have been disproportionately impacted [by marijuana prohibition],” Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby told the committee. “The STATES Act does not do that, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m opposed to it.”

Justin Strekal, political director of the marijuana advocacy group NORML stated, “Today was a historic day in the fight to end federal marijuana criminalization,” he said in a statement. “Members of both political parties demonstrated a desire to reform our nations failed policy of prohibition and the only disagreement was how, not if.”

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