February 28, 2019

Congressman Neguse introduces REFER Act with Congresswoman Barbara Lee to Modernize Federal Cannabis Laws

Washington D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, introduced the Restraining Excessive Federal Enforcement & Regulations of Cannabis (REFER) Act, a bipartisan bill to prevent federal agencies from using taxpayer funds to interfere in state and local cannabis laws. Currently 10 states, including Colorado, have legalized marijuana both medicinally and recreationally, all of which remain at risk of federal intervention in marijuana cases with the recent rescission of the Cole Memo under Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice.


“With current uncertainty around the Cole Memo, it is of the utmost importance that we move to protect states like Colorado from federal intervention in state and local cannabis laws,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Our state brings in over $1.5 billion annually in cannabis sales with a growing number of legal retailers and workers. This bill would ensure that Colorado, and other states like ours, can continue to expand the cannabis industry in our state, with assurance that the Department of Justice cannot and will not interfere.”


“For far too long, our federal cannabis policies have been rooted in the past. As the public’s views toward marijuana have evolved, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that our policies are fair, equitable and inclusive,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.


Congressman Neguse is also a member of the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis caucus.