Posted on September 12, 2013 by News Admin
Sen. Patrick Leahy yesterday pushed for historic strides in federal marijuana policy, including remedying banking conflicts and getting further assurance from federal prosecutors that states with legal marijuana laws enacted would be allowed to move forward with regulations and taxes.
"The absolute criminalization of personal marijuana use has contributed to our nation's soaring prison population and has disproportionately affected people of color," Leahy said at the hearing.
Much of the discussion centered around a recent memo from the Justice Department clarifying how federal prosecutors would allow recreational cannabis sales in Washington and Colorado so long as the stores follow state regulations. The memo was merely a suggestion, however, and prosecutors still have free reign to crack down on the centers as illegal operations at any time.
Some of the most talked-about testimony among the marijuana community online came from King County, Washington Sheriff John Urquart. He pointed out that the feds and Washington regulators have the same goals: keeping pot out of the hands of minors, keeping impaired drivers off the road and ending the funding of illegal criminal organizations.
"What we have in Washington is not the wild, wild West," he said. "The message to my deputies has been very clear: You will enforce our new marijuana laws. You will write someone a ticket for smoking in public. You will enforce age limits. You will put unlicensed stores out of business."
But it's time the feds caught up with the states, notably with regards to banking laws. Current banking laws make it nearly impossible for legal medical marijuana businesses to hold accounts, meaning they have to rely more on cash transactions that make them targets for robberies and burglaries.
"I am simply asking that the federal government allow banks to work with legitimate marijuana businesses who are licensed under this new state law," Urquhart said.
Those changes actually may be on the horizon, however. Deputy Attorney General James Cole said during the hearings that his office had started conversations with the Treasury Department about a possible fix to the banking woes.
Not everyone who testified was pro-pot, however. Project SAM spokesman Kevin Sabet warned that relaxing federal marijuana policy would create a public health epidemic.
"When we can prevent negative consequences of the commercial sale and production of marijuana now, why would we open the floodgates, hope for the best, and try with limited resources to patch everything up when things go wrong?" Sabet asked the panel.
Yeah, because drug dealers give a shit about asking your kids for an ID and all.
The other main dissenting voice came from Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa. He argued that marijuana legalization would be a public safety nightmare. He said that marijuana prohibition is "based on what science tells about this dangerous and addictive drug."
Apparently Grassley has never actually read any research on cannabis whatsoever.
Still the conversation at the federal level is seen as a major step forward in a rapidly changing national perspective on cannabis. Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Dan Riffle praised the senate for starting the conversation. But he says the conversation can't just stop here, real changes need to be made.
"The administration is doing its best to work around federal law, but a better approach would be to simply fix federal law and permanently resolve this conflict," he said.
We've helped thousands of happy customers start & run their medicinal & recreational businesses in all legal states. Whether you're serious, curious or just looking to gather information, GreenZipp can help.
Primarily through word-of-mouth alone, GreenZipp has become the company people trust to help start and run their legal marijuana businesses. For the last 4 years, people have been using GreenZipp because it's famously easy, straight forward, with no hidden costs. Combine that with our best-in-the-biz customer service, and you've got a unique and delightful offering of products and services.
We've been in business for 5 years, so you can depend on us to alleviate the anxieties and pressures of starting and running your business. Not once, has a single customer ever been in trouble with the law - ever. We're extremely proud of that number. Our job is to keep you safe and compliant with regulations and allow you to run your company without fear or anxiety. We've gone and will continue to go to the ends of the earth for our customers. Learn more about our company.
Many customers come to us saying that they've been told they need a lawyer to start their businesses. Sure, you can definitely use them, but you don't need them. Heck, you can even do it yourself if you don't mind putting in the time and making some costly mistakes from time to time. We take the complicated, confusing and time-consuming process of starting or running your marijuana business and boil it down to plain, detailed and easy-to-follow steps. Or, we can just do the whole process for you.
Here's the best part: We're so effective, lawyers and law firms hire us to service their marijuana industry clients for them.
Absolutely. You can see how our customers feel about us via an independently certified, 3rd party review website. We're extremely proud of our 5 out of 5 Star rating.
We offer a free Starter Package to help people understand the industry and us a little better. Check it out.
New business owners, seasoned entrepreneurs, investment groups and law firms all rely on GreenZipp. We've been fortunate to earn the repeat business of our customers, including some of the top lawyers and law firms in the country.
There's a lot of (mis)information out there. At best, it's usually speculation from non-professionals, old wive's tales or completely fabricated. It can be tough to navigate. With that in mind, here are a few things we've prepared for you:
GreenZipp is a medical & recreational marijuana consulting firm that's helped thousands of customers establish and run their marijuana businesses in all legal states. With industry-leading, streamlined and cost-effective products and services that abolish hourly & hidden fees, we'll be sure to make you happy.
We’ll send periodic news, new product releases and exclusive promotions.