Controversy Over Cannabis Clause in COVID Recovery Bill

Controversy Over Cannabis Clause in COVID Recovery Bill

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi touched a raw nerve in America’s culture wars when she stood up for a provision long sought by the cannabis industry as a condition in the Democrats’ coronavirus recovery package. It turned into a public spat with the Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and won Pelosi much derision from conservatives.  A review of the facts reveals that, even if Pelosi did not play her cards impeccably, the provision isn’t so funny after all. And neither is the notion that cannabis is “essential” in this time of crisis. Pelosi Plugs SAFE Banking Act At issue is the Secure & Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which has now been folded into the Democrats’ recovery package. The SAFE Banking Act passed the House last September but faces a challenge in the Republican-controlled Senate. The measure would reform banking regulations impacting institutions that handle cannabis-related accounts – allowing cannabis businesses operating in conformity with state law to access financial services. A group of attorneys general from 38 states and territories penned an open letter urging Congress to pass the bill last year. Under current federal law, financial institutions face stiff penalties for carrying out business with cannabis enterprises, as the 1970 Controlled Substance Act classes cannabis a Schedule 1 controlled substance, with no legitimate medical purpose.   At a July 31 press conference, Pelosi was challenged by a reporter, who said that the SAFE Banking Act was “not directly related to COVID.” “I don’t agree with you that cannabis is not related…

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Source : cannabis now
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