The Senate delegations from Oregon and Colorado recently introduced legislation that would keep the federal government from penalizing banks that work with businesses in the marijuana industry.
As things stand now, most banks will not dare accept money from state-legal cannabis businesses for fear that the federal government will charge them with money laundering for drug dealers.
Republican Senator Cory Gardner is one of the people sponsoring the measure. “If you’re an employee or a store owner you can’t put money in the bank, but if you’re a municipality collecting tax you can collect the tax, you can put it in the bank and you can spend it. This is insane,” Gardner said. “It solves a public safety issue, it clarifies a regulatory nightmare and it clears up a pretty blatant hypocrisy.”
Under current laws, many store owners have to hire their own security to transport cash to a secure location that they have to rent or buy; a location that needs its own security. Pointless expenses when there are so many banks that would just love to have that money.
But there are road blocks to this idea in the Senate, namely old Republicans. They have proven resistant to any measure that would take the boot off of the neck of cannabis business owners or consumers. So while the rest of the country is carried along with the momentum of the legalization movement, politicians sit on their little island and watch everyone go by. Sometimes one will jump into the water with everyone else, but that is a rare occurrence.
The fact is that your representatives and senators need to hear from you. They need to hear that cannabis issues are important to you. Sometimes, if you’re loud enough, your feelings can’t be ignored.