Congressman Urges Passage Of Marijuana Banking Bill While Broader Reform Is Considered

MJ moment

It’s been four months since the U.S. House of Representatives again approved a bipartisan bill to protect banks that work with state-legal marijuana businesses—but companion legislation has stalled in the Senate, and the House sponsor is getting impatient. While Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) says he appreciates that Senate leadership is pushing for a more comprehensive end to federal marijuana prohibition, and he agrees that promoting social equity is an important objective, he feels the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act is urgently needed to address public safety issues resulting from the industry’s lack of access to traditional financial institutions. What’s more, the banking bill stands a significantly higher chance of passing in the Senate specifically because of its narrow focus. To that end, Perlmutter argues that an incremental approach to reform is better than nothing, and the SAFE Banking Act should get a Senate vote without further delay. In an interview with Westword that was published on Friday, the congressman was asked to defend that incrementalism. He said simply that he believes “it’s important to pass the SAFE Banking Act as quickly as possible to address the public-safety risk that comes with these businesses being forced to operate cash-only.” “Passing the SAFE Banking Act is the first step of many federal cannabis reforms to create a safer and more equitable industry,” he said. It’s not that pro-legalization lawmakers and advocates oppose the banking legislation. Some of the strongest proponents for broad reform like Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act in April despite the body yet having taken up a legalization measure this session. But on the Senate side, there are some concerns among leadership that passing the SAFE Banking Act first would mean jeopardizing comprehensive reform. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)…

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Source : Congressman Urges Passage Of Marijuana Banking Bill While Broader Reform Is Considered

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