The U.S. House passed a historic bipartisan amendment today which will prevent the Treasury Department from spending any funding to penalize financial institutions that provide services to marijuana businesses that are legally operating under their state laws. The amendment passed 231 to 192.
The U.S. House passed an amendment in May prohibiting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from undermining state medical marijuana laws. They also passed two amendments prohibiting the DEA from interfering with state hemp laws.
“Congress is yet again rejecting the failed war on marijuana,” said Bill Piper, of the Drug Policy Alliance. “They have read the poll numbers and are doing both what is right and what is politically smart.”
Marijuana is still federally illegal, so banks who do business with legal marijuana dispensaries could still be accused of helping them launder money.
“[Dispensaries] are operating just in cash, which creates its own potential for crime, robbery, assault and battery,” said Rep. Earl Perlmutter, D-Colo., whose state has legalized recreational marijuana use. “You cannot track the money. 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.”