New House Legislation To Stop AG Jeff Sessions From Cracking Down

Representative Barbara Lee

Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK today filed a resolution, HR 4779, known as The RE.F.E.R. Act, prohibiting the federal government from taking punitive action against those operating in states where the use and distribution of marijuana is legal.

NORML is pleased to have worked with Rep. Lee’s office in drafting the language of HR 4779, which “protects individuals in states that have laws which permit the use of cannabis” for either medical or recreational purposes. Specifically, HR 4779 bars federal funding for any efforts that seek to “detain, prosecute, sentence, or initiate civil proceedings against an individual, business or property that is involved in the cultivation, distribution, possession, dispensation, or the use of cannabis in accordance with the law or regulation of the state or unit of local government in which the individual is located.”

“The federal government should respect the will of the voters in states that have voted to decriminalize cannabis. It’s time to stop wasting taxpayer money on the failed War on Drugs,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “I’m proud to introduce the REFER Act, which would prevent the Attorney General and others in the Trump Administration from stifling the budding cannabis industry. If the federal government chooses to interfere in these state matters, it’s up to Congress to prevent this harmful overreach.”

It also prohibits the federal government from taking any punitive action against a financial institution “solely because the institution provides financial services to an entity” that is involved in state-sanctioned marijuana-related activities.

Take action today to tell Congress to support HR 4779!

With the Justice Department having rescinded Obama-era directives limiting the federal government’s involvement in marijuana states, and with the future of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment uncertain, it is pivotal that you urge your elected officials to act on HR 4779.

79 thoughts

      1. Amen to that! I am for the REFER Act and excited to see Phil Murphy sworn in as the Governor of the Garden State. After 8 years of Christie’s regime against MJ- Murphy has 3 promises and one is to completely legalize and bill has already been written in the State Legislation on Day 1 for him to sign. Next week NJ GOES GREEN AND SESSIONS AND CHRISTIE CAN BOTH ROT IN HELL.

      2. Sessions and Christie are two of the most hated men in America!

        I second your thoughts regarding their rotting in hell!

      3. @ Jade Marks,
        If you are a Republican, then this whole stinking mess called Donald Trump is your fault!

        So stop patting yourself on the back for being a supporter of white supremacist, Nazi Republicans.

        Fuck the fascist lying Republicans.

      4. Agree, take marijuana off the Schedule list all together.

        Has much as I support H.R. 4479, it doesn’t hit our dictatorship where it needs too, the federal level.

        We need financial support… Banking systems. We need to logistical structures without the fear of bootlegging.

        Hound your elective officials to get off their trying to get re-elected diffs and pass H.R. 1227 & H.R. 2020.

    1. If you run them out of Washington, the cannabis communities they represent will simply send their replacements to advance the cause of cannabis legalization. Maybe prohibitionists will get elected to take their place, but then who is going to fund them? They’ll be going up against cannabis dollars and all the jobs the cannabis community has created.

      1. Hey there, Those against Cannabis consumption – Your days are done and your ignorant fight has been lost… The people have spoken and Cannabis has prevailed!

      2. Why not? Don’t you want to see our society become more healthy? You do know about the relationship between cannabis, the human Endocannabinoid System (which requires cannabinoids to work at its best) and human health, right? If you don’t, for your own sake, you should find out about it. You might be suffering from Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome and not even know it. Many people are stricken with it and don’t know there is an easy fix without having to “get high”. End the immoral and racially-motivated prohibition of cannabis!

  1. Annual Causes of Death in the United States
    Tobacco use – 480,320
    Illegal drug overdose – (not including marijuana) – 22,000
    Prescription drug overdose – (not including marijuana) 23,000
    Alcohol-Related Deaths – 31,000
    Peanuts 110
    Cannabis (Marijuana) – 0

    Jeff Sessions can eat my shorts . . .

    1. Federalism vs States Rights is an academic matter. These are conceptual entities whose “rights” are ultimately rhetorical.

      Human Rights are what really count.

      1. Federalism vs States Rights is an academic matter. These are conceptual entities whose “rights” are ultimately rhetorical.

        Human Rights are what really count.

  2. Republicans say they are for States’ rights – but when they don’t agree with the issue at hand, that paradigm goes right out the window! Disgraceful government we live with today- and I voted for Trump! hb4779 is a no brainer – it needs to be passed to stop the hypocrisy.

    1. It’s time to stop the prohibition of cannabis. Let people be healthier from a plant. Not a pill. Stop being slaves to Big Pharma. PLEASE end Prohibition.

  3. The R.E.F.E.R. Act? That’s bold! I can easily imagine a joint resolution to get REFER rolled up and passed!

    SIGNED and SENT!!!

    (Does Barbara Lee got Chinese eyes? She sure looks happy in that pic…)

  4. Just the cheeto administration sucking up to big pharma…their all mighty dollars have bought and paid for our almighty governing body….$$ mean more what’s right.or just

  5. Get dope out of my state! It causes crime, homeless people everywhere and makes beautiful Denver smell bad! Dirty politicians, dopers and cartels can get the f out! The silent majority are sick of it. Smoke in your own house and not on our streets!

    1. A majority of voters passed the ballot measures that legalized in Colorado. The solution to the nuisance of people smoking weed out on the streets is for there to be places where consumption IS allowed on the premises for those who can’t partake of the sacred herb at home, like because they don’t have a home in Colorado, so like a place for tourists to go. If you have Amsterdam style coffeeshops or a Bring Your Own Bud shop, you could put it out of sight and out of mind.

    2. I’ll help chip in for a one ticket to Manila, Philippines for you, since you and President Duterte seem to be on the same page.

    3. Anonymous,

      I suspect your drama has to do with the influx of people in Denver and the large number of homeless. That’s proof in itself how badly many people want legalization, how badly they want to live in a place where you won’t get busted for a friggin’ joint.

      You’ll have to put up with that for a while, alas, until more states legalize. In the meantime, if the situation continues to bug you, you might consider relocating to the South. There are plenty of states south of the Mason-Dixon that probably won’t see legalization for years, maybe many years, so you wouldn’t have to be around that awful Devil’s Weed! Something to consider . . .

  6. Last Fall young men hoping to be accepted into college fraternities drank themselves to DEATH seeking that acceptance. Had their peers forced them to smoke a handful of blunts in place of drinking the alcohol those young men would still be with us. True.

    Reform of marijuana laws is uniting the people of this country right now like nothing else but our representatives dally. Why? Is it lobbying and money from the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries that encourages the delay?

    Lawmakers are backing the wrong inebriant. They celebrate the openings of new craft beer venues, wineries and distilleries as “agritourism” and promote them in their official press releases. CHEERS!

    Americans do not want to add to the intoxicated state of the Country. They want a healthier, safer and yes more pleasant ALTERNATIVE.

    Alcoholism and opiod abuse are real problems. When Virginia sells 151 proof liquor in their own stores and then prohibits marijuana use in the interest of protecting it’s citizens. Well, it’s more than a little hypocritical don’t you think?

    Can you help reform cannabis laws? Yes. Please contact your representatives directly. Really not that hard.

  7. It is a sad day where politicians with their own greedy agendas that go against the will of the people and the elected representatives that echo the voted right of the people, to NOT follow what has clearly been deemed a logical progression of a long fought and futile battle, to keep prohibition intact. It cannot and will not stand, in a democratic country, who’s educated understanding of why could be an aid and not a harm, to millions of registered voters. MTV did not melt kids brains, nor did rock music like these old dinosaurs would have you believe. Alcohol and Big tobacco fund most of the political agenda and they too have come to understand the 420 movement is not just a movement, it is in fact the next evolutionary step on the humanitarian platform of freedom. Stop trying to be like communist China , you are a country of elected officials by the people! FOR the People!
    MJ Is here to stay. Not just for the adult that wants to casually smoke a joint while watching Sunday night football with his corona, but for the millions of registered voters that NEED something far more gentle than prescription drugs that KILL more Americans every day than weed we’ve could.
    Wake up American suits on the hill. You will be yesterday’s news but tomorrow’s news, it belongs to to the people and they have spoken!

  8. If Jeff Sessions did enforce the laws he wouldn’t be doing his job. Trump is sworn to faithfully enforce the laws. I smoked a lot of weed in my life and am not opposed to it. But Congress neeeds to do its job and change the law.

    1. You are right that Congress needs to get with it and legalize. But don’t lecture me about Trump and Sessions just doing their jobs, for that makes you their water carrier.

  9. Marijuana is so beneficial to people. I’m so tired of hearing that it is dangerous. Make it legal everywhere.

  10. Remove from Scheduled listings. Cannabis is not equivalent to Fentanyl/ Heroin .. Tax and legalize Cannabis , just as alcohol.

  11. Jeff Sessions, needs a good boot all the way out the door. I was a Trump supporter, but now I will never vote for him again. Sessions, just put another nail in President Trump’s coffin!

    1. Why would you vote for Trump in the first place? How could you support a willfully ignorant con man that questioned former President Obama’s birthplace and citizenship? A man-child that spouts off racist rhetoric? Trump had minions like Christie and Sessions that were all too eager to reignite the drug war? Did you miss that part? It’s easy for me to beat up on Trump, for there is so much material to work with. But people like you that voted for Trump are the ones I really question. Anyways, thank you for voting in a racist sexist egostistical bigot shithole and helping to make the USA the Laughing Stock of the World (they call that MAGA in your alternative universe don’t they?). So spare me your buyers remorse. Bitch, you knew he was a snake. Fuck Trump and the people who elected him.

      1. @ Sean,
        I had a friend, many years ago, who also happened to be a full-on, right wing nut job. He smoked pot. He hated the Clintons with a passion. He also voted Republican every single chance he got.

        We had many discussions; but one thing he said one time has been fucking with me ever since; he said “I just think marijuana should be legalized under a Republican administration.”

        Now, I believe my friend truly wanted marijuana legalized. But he wanted Republican rule more. And you can’t have it both ways. He believed in tribes over issues. And so, he wasn’t voting on issues, he was voting on tribes. Always Republican, without fail. He was willing to settle for Republican rule, and then hope for the best.

        I suppose I owe my old friend for the insight into the thinking of a RWNJ. Perhaps you will find it insightful, too.

        For Republicans, marijuana legalization is just another marketing pitch for Republicanism.

  12. I prefer getting legalized smoke at voter approved shops with no offers of meth, coke and other party items that is the true gateways to supporting cartels, but I guess jail 4 joints fits profit prisons for lawmakers friends returning PACs and big pharma let’s not forget big Pharmacy

  13. I am for hb4779. Think about the opiates. Their is a serious problem in this country. I have never heard of cannabis killing anyone. The Federal government needs to stand down on cannabis. Veterans are always as a pain relief first thing opiates. Me i would love cannabis to handle my pain and get off opiates. Anyone who is against cannabis dont know all the facts and it has never took anyone life like opiates. So lets pass hb4779 and stop giving people opiates for pain. Unless supervised by a caregiver. My state votes this june and i am voting yes.

  14. I salute Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK) for their courage and for being on the right side of this issue!

    I find it rather humorous that this act is called the RE.F.E.R. Act!!! LOL – Luv It!

    I, once again, also salute NORML for all they do. The work they do is actually making America more great! I wish I could say that about Trump’s efforts…

  15. Why name it a slang term for cannabis. It doesnt help. Name it something that reflects what tou are intending to do.

  16. Since the dawn of our earliest civilizations and religions Marijuana has used our feet and hands to reproduce itself… and now it is using our minds and hearts to reshape the way we govern ourselves and save us from our own avarice.

  17. I think its selfish to allow one state to go along while in another state people are going to jail. Some laws needs to be national and I think this is one of them.

  18. NO I do not support this. This bill does nothing but put a bandage on the problem, it does nothing to address the banking, nothing for those allready in jail. Congress should remove marijuana from three list of controlled subsistences and quit screwing around, do there job and represent us.

    1. I wholeheartedly sympathize and understand your frustration. That cannabis is illegal in the US in the 21st century is beyond disgraceful. But please don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

    2. Thomas – We all need to support this since every step forward, even baby ones, brings us all closer to our goal of ending the incredible stupidity that our current Republican Congress continues to allow!!!

  19. re; Fuck Trump and the people who elected him.

    for things to get BETTER,
    they have to get waaayyyy WORSE,

    thus, allowing people who thought there was NO PROBLEM,
    to realize that there actually IS a problem.

    re; States Rights;
    there is NOTHING wrong with States Rights,
    as long as there is no;
    violations of the constitution and bill of rights,
    no prejudice,
    no RACISM,
    no CRONYISM, ect, involved.

    re; the failure of alcohol prohibition;

    alcohol prohibition FAILED,

    there were NO ALTERNATIVES offered.

    IF they had said;
    alcohol is now illegal, BUT;
    your favorite bar will not be shut down;
    there will be many ALTERNATIVE CHOICES AVAILABLE for your enjoyment;

    drinks with cannabis extracts;
    drinks with MDMA / MMA;
    drinks with SMALL AMOUNTS of LSD, cocaine or amphetamines;

    it would have been successfull.

    1. @ mee,
      I do not accept the argument that by inflicting Trump upon us, Trump voters and Putin are making things better by making things way, way worse.

      Bullshit, you fucking lunatic.

  20. For anyone who hasnt caught Tom Angell’s original coverage of this bill, or are wondering if its worth clicking on the ACT tab and supporting it;

    Not only does Lee’s REFER bill stop the DOJ from spending our tax dollars on cracking down on medical or responsible adult markets, it stops ANY federal agency from interfering from ANY business… including BANKS… from services, sales or consultation with state marijuana industries that are in compliance with state laws.

    And as Angel points out, perhaps most importantly, this bill is PERMANENT. No more treasonous Pete Sessions killing Americans for profit off a budget or spending renewal.

    Click on the link above. Then call Congress:


    And lets tell our Representatives to support the REFER bill.

      1. And that’s why I keep supporting NORML! To get the message out for the people to choose the right laws and the right representatives! 🙂

  21. There is not been any piece of evidence, by any researcher, that has been experimenting over the years, by findings that marijuana is a dangerous drug and can do permanent damage to your body.

    Just speculations have been always made that someone reads in the news, marijuana is a dangerous drug. It has never been backed up by any proof, of which makes marijuana the most misunderstood drug.

    If marijuana was legalized in the whole entire United States for recreational use and to be commercialized into the retail business, it would help the government and the economy!

    It is a known fact that half the jails would be empty in the entire United States if marijuana was legalized for recreational use. There have been more marijuana arrests in the entire United States then any other crime combined. Every twenty-five seconds, someone in the United States gets arrested for marijuana possession.

    The government would save money on corrections and can take control over the supply and demand of marijuana for recreational commercial sales and medical marijuana as well. Which would resulting of the government savings millions and making billions of dollars, from an economic point of view for national legalization of marijuana.

    According to the national polls, over 50% of Americans are favor of legalization of marijuana for recreation use. Give the Americans what they want and legalize marijuana in the entire United States for recreational use!

  22. ok lets be real here ask any junkie what drug they did first 100percent it is is a gateway drug.anyone who says different is full of u want some pothead doing the brake job on ur car?how about a surgeon doing surgery.yea real good idea to legalize it.and what a great way to make the population more dumb.i cant wait till the feds shut this whole pothead huurah down

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