Later this week, we have a chance to make a major breakthrough in reforming marijuana policy at the federal level. We need your help to make it happen.
The House is expected to vote on the McClintock-Blumenauer amendment, which would prevent the Department of Justice from using funds to interfere with the implementation of state laws that have legalized marijuana for adults. Since 2014, Congress has upheld a rule preventing federal interference in states' medical marijuana programs, but this goes further and includes adult-use legalization, too.
With Illinois' recent victory, 11 states have ended marijuana prohibition, and more than 25% of the U.S. population lives in a jurisdiction where marijuana is legal for adults. We must protect these state laws and prevent federal arrests for people operating legal marijuana businesses.
Today, 33 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws allowing for either medical or adult-use cannabis. An additional 14 states allow for limited medical use. But under current law, financial institutions providing banking services to legitimate and licensed cannabis businesses under state laws are subject to criminal prosecution under several federal statutes, such as "aiding and abetting" a federal crime and money laundering.
In March, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (HR 1595) to address this discord between state and federal policy. This bipartisan legislation recently hit 200 cosponsors in the House, and a House floor vote is expected soon.
Please email your U.S. Representative to urge them to support the SAFE Banking Act! If your rep is already a cosponsor, you can thank them for their leadership on the issue.
This legislation would prevent federal regulators from punishing financial institutions for providing services to cannabis-related businesses operating in compliance with state laws. While some cannabis businesses have been able to find banking services, most banks are unwilling to work with them because they fear federal prosecution. As a result, many cannabis businesses are forced to operate entirely in cash.
Solving the banking issue would promote public health and safety, as access to banking would ensure broader patient access, help with business transparency and compliance, and reduce safety risks associated with running high-volume, cash-only businesses. In addition, the legislation would make it easier for financial institutions to provide loans to cannabis-related businesses, allowing those with the least access to capital — often minorities — to participate in the new legal cannabis industry.
Please contact your U.S. Representative in support of this bill TODAY, then share this link with friends and family who support sensible cannabis policies so they can do the same.