October 23, 2019

Marijuana and America’s Health: Questions and Issues for Policy Makers

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman, and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), co-Chairman, held a hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control to examine public health questions and issues surrounding marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, as more states legalize it for the treatment of medical conditions and recreational use.

This hearing provides an opportunity to understand what scientific research has yielded as it relates to marijuana’s efficacy as a medical treatment, its effect on motor skills and driving, and its impact on adolescent development, cognition, and mental illness, along with what questions still need to be answered.

The hearing transcript is available here.

Opening Statements


John Cornyn

Sen. Cornyn’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery.


Dianne Feinstein

Sen. Feinstein’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery.


Honorable Dr. Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH

Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services Vice Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, MD

Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Panel II

Dr. Robert Fitzgerald, PhD

Professor, University of California, San Diego Department of Pathology Director, Clinical Chemistry Fellowship, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Staci Gruber, PhD

Director, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core, McLean Hospital Director, Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) Program, McLean Hospital Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Madeline Meier, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University Transdisciplinary Prevention Research Center Assistant Professor, Arizona State University Department of Psychology