Marijuana advocates prepare to plead for federal cannabis reform next week

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The expansion of state-level cannabis legislation could help federal reform

A hearing on state and federal cannabis reform will be held next week. Several witnesses have been announced by congressional lawmakers in a House subcommittee. The move is part of an effort to ask that federal reform please come to fruition, an action that seems to have been stalled for quite some time.

The meeting is scheduled to take place next Wednesday and details have already been shared by the House Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Oversight Subcommittee. According to the recent announcement, seven highly experienced reform advocacy witnesses will be part of the discussion in order to provide cannabis policy developments at the state and federal levels. In addition to being comprised of members of marijuana reform and lobbying groups, the group will also include the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama.

The notice made clear that the members will meet to discuss the various benefits that could come with the decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level. Among the benefits could be improved treatment options for veterans, addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and allowing marijuana businesses access to traditional banking services.

While Birmingham’s mayor may not be associated with any type of formal advocacy organization, he has been noted over the past several years for using his executive authority to pardon thousands of city residents who were once convicted of minor cannabis offenses. Eric Goepel, founder and executive director of the Veterans Cannabis Coalition (VCC), meanwhile, has been a major force in promoting federal reform, essentially focusing on access to medical marijuana for the nation’s veteran community.