Prohibition

Major victory: House votes to protect legal marijuana states from DOJ interference

The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to prevent the federal government from interfering with state laws regulating marijuana for all purposes, including adult use.

"Today's vote is the most significant step Congress has ever taken toward ending federal marijuana prohibition."

- Steven Hawkins, MPP Executive Director

Yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives, an extraordinary milestone was achieved when the body approved a measure by a 267-165 vote to 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 renewed a provision that prevented federal interference in states' medical marijuana programs, but this goes further and includes adult-use legalization, too.

The significance of this development cannot be overstated. As MPP Executive Director Steve Hawkins put it this vote means "Congress is recognizing that the federal government must let the states decide on cannabis legalization — and not the other way around." But this win was only made possible with your support.

Please help MPP continue to achieve victories like this by making a contribution to the effort today.

The bipartisan amendment, offered by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to the House version of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, prohibits the Justice Department, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, from using funds to interfere in the implementation of state laws that allow the use, possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana. The measure is broader than previous amendments, which applied only to medical marijuana laws.

We should all take a moment to savor this seminal achievement and to appreciate how far we've come as a movement. But we can't afford to rest on our laurels, to count on momentum alone to drive future progress, or to assume others will step up to support ending marijuana prohibition nationwide.

Your gift of support today is critical to ensure that MPP has the resources it needs to keep on fighting and winning. Click here to donate now.

The Senate is expected to take up companion legislation in the coming weeks, and it's going to take all the efforts of MPP's policy experts, allies, and coalition partners to push this bill forward. Most importantly, strong and active support from people like you, who know firsthand the injustice and illogic of marijuana prohibition, will be key to moving this legislation across the finish line.

Thank you for all you've done to help us get this far. The MPP mission to end marijuana prohibition has never been so close to being realized, and with your support, we will make that vision a reality.

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Prohibition

Tell Congress to vote for federal marijuana policy reform this week

Take action and ask your Representative to protect state marijuana laws.

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.

Please contact your Representative in Congress right now, and ask them to support the Blumenauer-McClintock amendment.

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.

Thank you.

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Prohibition

Federal action alert: Cannabis banking bill advancing in Congress

Urge your U.S. Representative to support the SAFE Banking Act of 2019!

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.

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