Both Oregon Senators Lead With Marijuana Banking Bill

   

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have consistently led in freeing cannabis from its current idiotic persecution. Proving again that Oregon leads, both Beaver State senators were joined by both Colorado senators and Kentucky republican Senator Rand Paul in addressing dismal marijuana industry banking problems. The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act, outlined in the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) release below, would help plug a huge hole in newly legal American cannabis business enterprises, access to banking.

SENATORS INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN MARIJUANA BANKING BILL

Bill Would Address Largest Logistical Obstacle to Dispensaries, Improve Public Safety

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act today in a much-needed move to allow legitimate marijuana businesses to conduct legal financial operations. While the move sounds like a minor regulatory matter, the lack of clear financial guidelines represents the single greatest obstacle to state-legal marijuana businesses operating safely and profitably. Currently, dispensaries and other businesses in states that have legalized medical marijuana or that allow adult use must operate cash-only businesses because banking services fall under federal, rather than state law.

“Right now, it’s the Wild West for marijuana businesses,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of LEAP. “Criminals know where the dispensaries are. They know the businesses are making thousands of dollars a day and that all of those transactions are in cash. It’s led to some horrific incidents, all courtesy of the federal government. They’re setting these businesses up to fail and, worse, they’re endangering people’s lives.”

Most dispensaries have had to hire expensive private security firms to set up elaborate safety systems and to accompany employees as the cash leaves the premises. Because of these precautions, many dispensaries, even those conducting large volume of sales, retain little profit. States are the other major losers in this scenario as the lack of accountability encourages the underreporting of taxes.

In the House, Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA) have  introduced a similar  bill, HR 2076.

LEAP is committed to ending decades of failed policy that have wreaked havoc on public safety, damaged community relations with police, fostered corruption and racism, and largely ignored the public health crisis of addiction. The War on Drugs has cost more than $1 trillion dollars, yielded no positive outcomes, and has ultimately diverted the penal system’s attention away from more important crimes.

Don Fitch

Interest in cannabis liberation extends back to the 1960s for Don Fitch. Most of his career has been in high tech and preventive health care, endeavors he continues with Well-Being Skills, focused now on ebook publishing. Don has always followed and contributed to efforts for ending marijuana prohibition. An Oregonian whose vision is endangered by glaucoma, Don has benefited from his state’s 1998 medical cannabis law, and his eyesight is fully preserved. Don has been writing about cannabis and well-being since 2008 in his blog, www.YourBrainOnBliss.com. This site explores the bountiful health benefits stemming from the discovery of the endocannabinoid system and increasingly legal medical cannabis. The impact of these discoveries, and the use of marijuana in prevention and treatment, may be as important to health care as were the microelectronic discoveries Don wrote about in the early ’80s were to our on-going technological revolution. His major goal, still frustrated after decades, is to see cannabis down-scheduled from Schedule I at the federal level. For fun, Don flies paragliders and travels.