May 042014
 May 4, 2014

obama marijuana bankingEarlier this week United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew defended the Obama Administration’s recently issued guidelines to banks, allowing them to conduct transactions with legal marijuana businesses. Jack Lew was prompted to defend the policy after Republicans questioned why the federal government is allowing such a move. The irony of course is that, despite the guidelines, most banks still don’t work with marijuana businesses because the guidelines don’t go far enough. However, just the thought of marijuana banking was enough to draw some outrage, which resulted in the following statement from Jack Lew:

“Without any guidance, there would be a proliferation of cash-only businesses, and that would make it impossible to see when there are actions going on that violate both federal and state law and that … would be a real concern,” said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. “We thought that the clarity, bringing it into daylight, was a better solution.”

Banking has hindered marijuana businesses from the very beginning of the industry. Prohibiting banks from working with marijuana businesses creates a host of issues. Making these businesses ‘all cash’ entities creates storage problems for the cash that accumulates. This makes marijuana businesses vulnerable to robberies, which is clearly a public safety issue. It also creates logistical issues for the businesses, who are not allowed to use checks or credit cards like other businesses.

Marijuana businesses should be able to work with banks like any other business. It’s good for the banks, because they get more deposits to work with, which in turn allows them to offer more loans and services to all their customers – not just marijuana businesses. Allowing banks to work with marijuana businesses is obviously good for the marijuana industry, but it’s also good for the public as a whole by mitigating the chance for robberies. Other than clinging to failed public policy, what’s the point of keeping a banking ban in place?

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference

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About Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri.As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties.You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.
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  7 Responses to “Treasury Secretary Defends Obama Administration’s Banking Reforms”

  1.  

    Republicans hate the idea of government intruding into the lives of citizens, unless it involves SIN (whatever they decide that means at the moment.) When they think you’re sinning, they’re at your doorstep, weapons drawn.

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      The irony, of course — were they to win their culture war, they’d simply turn on themselves to nit-pick the differences that exist between each other. There are dozens of churches where I live because there are dozens of flavors of Christianity. Those different shades of Christians disagree with each other on certain points that were serious enough to necessitate another building and a separate congregation, entirely.

      If they didn’t have SINNERS to unite against, they’d turn on each other like jackals over biblical minutia.

      You would have been dropping an atomic bomb at my high school, were you to ask a large group of classmates to tell you the difference between Calvinist, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. etc. (and you would set the bomb off, should you follow up by asking which one is CORRECT)

  2.  

    So, he’s basically saying “If they don’t work with banks, we can’t (reasonably without tons of extra work and assistance from other government organizations) track their accounting, so this way actually allows us to prevent money laundering and (black market/cartel/mafia/gang) activity as well as tax evasion. Seems pretty logical to me.

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      I must be missing something. The money laundering and black market issues are addressed by not addressing them?

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        ? His own quote.

        “Without any guidance, there would be a proliferation of cash-only businesses, and that would make it impossible to see when there are actions going on that violate both federal and state law and that … would be a real concern,” said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. “We thought that the clarity, bringing it into daylight, was a better solution.”

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          Ah, I get it. The joys of circular thinking strike again. Thanks for your help in understanding this latest missive from “our” government. Believe I’ll just step back now and watch the bullshit collapse under its own weight.

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