California Senate Leader Urges Congress to Pass H.R. 4779, Protect Lawful Cannabis Industry

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

SACRAMENTO California State Senate Leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is calling on Congress to pass H.R. 4779 to protect voter-approved state cannabis industries and consumers from federal crackdowns under the Trump Administration.

In a letter to the measure’s author, Representative Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Senator de León praised the legislation as a sensible step to prevent unnecessary and counterproductive federal encroachment. H.R. 4779 prevents federal funds from being used to prosecute individuals or businesses in compliance with state laws.

“California and a growing number of states have developed thoughtful regulations to test, permit, and supervise cannabis in a manner that protects public health while fostering economic growth,” De León said. “Rather than wasting taxpayer resources on an ineffective and discriminatory policy fixated on cannabis, Congress and the President should focus federal resources on the national opioid crisis and respect states’ rights and the will of voters.”


H.R. 4779 prevents any funds “made available by any Act of Congress to any department or agency of the United States…” to be used to prevent a State and local government from implementing and maintaining its state laws regarding cannabis.

The bill would also prevent federal monies from being used to “detain, prosecute, sentence, or initiate civil proceedings against an individual, business or property, that is involved in the cultivation, distribution, possession, dispensation, or use of cannabis, in accordance with the law or regulation of the State or unit of local government in which the individual is located.”

In addition, H.R. 4779 would also prevent federal funds from being used to penalize financial institutions who provide their financial services to businesses engaged in the rapidly expanding recreational cannabis industry. This is an essential public safety measure.