Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee was named the co-chair of the bipartisan Cannabis Caucus, alongside Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Congressman Don Young (R-AK), and Congressman David Joyce (R-OH). Congresswoman Lee’s historic appointment marks the first time that a woman or a person of color will serve in the leadership of the Cannabis Caucus.
“I am thrilled to serve as co-chair of the Cannabis Caucus and continue the work of reforming our outdated and discriminatory marijuana laws,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “For far too long, communities of color and women have been left out of the conversation on cannabis. I am committed to ensuring that marijuana reform goes hand-in-hand with criminal justice reform so we can repair some of the harm of the failed War on Drugs. We must also work to build an industry that is equitable and inclusive of the communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition.”
“Congresswoman Lee has consistently fought for underrepresented communities for decades,” said Congressman Blumenauer, founder of the Cannabis Caucus. “Her work on reform has proven to empower communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs. I’m proud she’s joining the Cannabis Caucus leadership team and I’m looking forward to a new year of progress in our movement to address our outdated federal marijuana policy.”
In the 115th Congress, Congresswoman Lee introduced the Marijuana Justice Act with Senator Cory Booker to reform unjust marijuana laws and empower communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs. She also authored the REFER Act, to prohibit federal funding for DOJ interference in states that have decriminalized cannabis, and the RESPECT Resolution, to encourage racial equity in the legal cannabis industry.