House Passes Marijuana Banking Bill
Article from Reason by Eric Boehm.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of letting state-legal marijuana businesses have access to banks and other financial institutions.
It was a historic bipartisan moment, and an important one—though one that skirts the larger and more important matter of changing how the federal government treats marijuana.
The bill was the first stand-alone marijuana legalization bill to pass either chamber of Congress. The SAFE Banking Act—the acronym stands for “Secure and Fair Enforcement”—would shield banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions from being held liable for doing business with marijuana growers and pot shops in states where the drug has been legalized. Under current law, any financial institution that so much as allows a marijuana business to open a business checking account could potentially violate a host of federal banking and drug laws.
“People in states and localities across the country are voting to approve some level of marijuana use, and we need these marijuana businesses and employees to have access to checking accounts, lines of credit, payroll accounts, and more,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D–Colo.) during debate on the bill. “Most importantly, this will also reduce the risk of violent crime in our communities. These businesses and their employees become targets for murder, robbery, assault and more by dealing in all cash.”
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: By Chmee2 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons