Sending Office: Honorable Barbara Lee
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Become an Original Cosponsor!

RESPECT Resolution: Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades

DEADLINE: COB on Wednesday, June 13

Current Original Cosponsors: Holmes Norton, Pocan, Blumenauer, McNerney, Schakowsky, Titus, Khanna


Endorsing Organizations: Drug Policy Alliance, NORML, National Association of Social Workers, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, Minority Cannabis Business Association,
Cannabis Cultural Association, Defending Rights & Dissent, District Growers, LLC., Protect Families First,, San Francisco Drug Users Union, National Cannabis Festival & National Cannabis Policy Summit, Center for Living and Learning, A New
PATH, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, National Cannabis Industry Association, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc., Denver Relief Consulting


Dear Colleague:

I write to ask that you join me in becoming an original cosponsor of my resolution, Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades (RESPECT), to help communities of color benefit from and expand their foothold in the cannabis

As you may know, 30 states and the District of Columbia allow legal access to medical cannabis and 9 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for adult use. However, due to decades of inequitable enforcement and discriminatory sentencing
for cannabis offenses, communities of color are being locked out of this growing industry. Despite equal rates of cannabis use across populations, people of color are almost 4 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than their White counterparts.
Drug sentences for Black men are 13.1 percent longer than sentences imposed for White men, and Latinos are nearly 6.5 times more likely to receive a federal sentence for cannabis possession than Non-Hispanic Whites.

Due to the economic and legal impact of racially-targeted cannabis prohibition, communities of color have largely been shut out of benefitting from legalization. It is estimated that less than 1 percent of the cannabis industry is owned or operated by people
of color due to exorbitant application and licensing fees, bans on individuals with drug arrest and conviction histories, and severely limited access to loans and capitol for cannabis business.

That is why I urge you to join me in introducing this important resolution. As we begin to repair the damage of the failed War on Drugs, we must address disparities and build equity in cannabis businesses.

Communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition should not be left out in the wake of legalization. Congress must ensure that these disenfranchised communities benefit equally from the emerging legalized and regulated cannabis industry. It is time for
Congress to acknowledge the inequities of the past and ensure that communities of color are provided the economic and reparative justice they deserve. To become an original cosponsor, please contact Keifer on my staff at or at 5-2661 by
close of business on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.




Barbara Lee

Member of Congress

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