By Mike Adams
If the push to legalize marijuana at the federal level was a horse race, and in a lot of ways it is precisely that, all of the handicappers, streetwise bookies, and even the most degenerate gamblers would have the SAFE Banking Act circled and highlighted in their programs. While at face value this piece of legislation would give banks permission to do business with the cannabis industry without the threat of federal prosecution, the action surrounding it could actually give us some indication as to just how hot or cold Congress is about taking marijuana reform all of the way.
The spiel that some of the Democrats have been feeding us since last year is, “Hey America, as long as we win the election and gain back control of the House from those dreaded pot-blocking Republicans, the issue of cannabis reform is going to make strides unlike you’ve ever seen.”
Well, they won, and now nearly six months into the session, we’re still waiting for something to happen.
To be fair, consistent with Representative Earl Blumenauer’s “Blueprint to Legalize Marijuana in the 116th Congress,” which was released last October, marijuana banking is a top priority for the Democrats. For those of you who don’t remember, the plan is, at least according to the Blumenauer Blueprint, for Democrats to resolve issues pertaining to marijuana and banking, medical marijuana access for veterans, and expanding cannabis research. Once all of those deeds are done, they will pull out the big guns and push for full-blown legalization right around September.
So, where are we on all of this?
Well, the veterans got screwed. But the word on the street is that the SAFE Banking Act is gaining momentum in the halls of Congress. The House Financial Services Committee put its stamp of approval on the measure back in March, and the hope is that it will be a slam dunk with the full House reasonably soon. One thing is certain, Congress is feeling the pressure for some clarity right now from states that have legalized the leaf for recreational and medicinal use. Recently, the attorneys general of 38 U.S. jurisdictions fired off a letter to Congressional leaders pleading with them to see that the SAFE Banking Act finds its way onto the pages of Uncle Sam’s big book of laws.