U.S. Senate To Hold Hearing On State Pot Legalization

Sep 9, 2013

The conflict between federal law and pot legalization in Washington and Colorado will be on the agenda in Congress this week.

The long scheduled hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary committee comes less than a week after the Department of Justice announced it will not sue to stop Washington and Colorado from legalizing pot.

The DOJ did outline eight enforcement priorities. They include keeping proceeds from legal marijuana businesses out of the hands organized crime rings.

But Washington Governor Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson warn that will be difficult to enforce if marijuana businesses can’t open a bank account. Currently banks can run afoul of federal law if they accept deposits from drug sales. In written testimony to the Judiciary committee, Inslee and Ferguson urge the Department of Justice to give federal banking regulators more guidance in this area.

They also ask Congress to consider passing the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act. It would allow banks to accept deposits from licensed marijuana operators who comply with state law.

On the Web:

Hearing: Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws - US Senate