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House Gives Go-Ahead to Treasury Department’s Marijuana Banking Guidelines

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The U.S. House on Wednesday rejected a measure that would have blocked the Treasury Department from implementing guidelines to make it easier for legal marijuana businesses to conduct banking.

Because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, banks who conduct business with marijuana-related companies could be accused of helping them launder their money, according to the Associated Press. A conviction on charges of federal money laundering can result in decades in prison.

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration provided banks with federal guidelines for conducting banking transactions with legal marijuana sellers, enabling a legalized marijuana industry to operate in states that approve it. Representative John Fleming of Louisiana had proposed a measure to block the Treasury Department from implementing the guidelines. The House rejected the move, the AP notes.

Legal marijuana sellers that are barred from utilizing banks cannot safely deposit cash, leaving them vulnerable to criminals and robbery. Also, state governments that allow marijuana sales want a channel to properly receive taxes from legal marijuana businesses.

“You cannot track the money,” said Representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado. “There is skimming and tax evasion. So the guidance by the Justice Department and the guidance by the Treasury Department is to bring this out into the open.”

1 Response to this article

  1. Thomas Gleaton / July 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    We often complain as a nation when other nations break international treaties; such as, Russia’s annexation exploits but few Americans know that we are under an international treaty ( 1961 Treaty on Narcotic Drugs) with more than 60 other nations.

    Congress needs to withdraw from the 1961 international treaty to follow it present efforts to legalize marijuana.

    Treaties are considered the highest law of the land (signed off on by our congress) and we are breaking the 1961 Treaty with little discussion on insulting other nations.

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