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Rep. Diana DeGette

From the office of Colorado Representative Diana DeGette:

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-1) joined with Democratic and Republican colleagues to announce the introduction of the “Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act” which would ensure that state laws regarding marijuana will not be pre-empted by the federal government.

“I voted against Amendment 64 and I strongly oppose the legalization of marijuana, but I also have an obligation to respect the will of the voters given the passage of this initiative, and so I feel obligated to support this legislation,” said Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-6).

“The people of Colorado and Washington voted in overwhelming numbers to regulate the sale of marijuana. Colorado officials and law enforcement are already working to implement the will of Colorado voters, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and officials in the administration to deliver clear guidance that ensures the will of the people is protected,” said Rep. Jared Polis (CO-2).

“Residents of Colorado and Washington have made it clear that the public is ahead of the federal government in terms of marijuana legalization,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-3). “It’s time for Congress to pass legislation – such as the ‘Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act’ – that allows states to implement their own laws in this area without fear of federal interference.”

“All across the country, states are choosing to reform their marijuana laws. As Justice Brandeis observed, states are the ‘laboratories of democracy’ and they should be given the opportunity to go forward with this social experiment,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-9). “I’m proud to cosponsor this important bill, which will ensure that the federal government respects the people’s judgment.”

“The federal government’s failure to develop a reasonable approach towards the varying state marijuana use laws has made this legislation necessary,” said Rep. Sam Farr (CA-17). “From increased raids on legal dispensaries to denying defendants in court the right to present evidence of their legal marijuana use, the federal government has chosen to trample on state rights rather than work with them as a partner to address this issue.”

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