Federal government right to deny banking to weed businesses
I was somewhat befuddled as I read your article in the Oct. 9 edition, "U.S. House approves cannabis banking bill." If I understand the article correctly, the "problem" is that the banking industry refuses to service the marijuana-related businesses because the "drug is still illegal under federal law."
I do not see how that is a problem. We don't permit banks to engage in the financing of other illegal drug operations, so why would we want them to engage in facilitating this particular illegal drug?
Money laundering is one of the biggest issues in trying to control the illegal drug business.
But if I understand your article correctly, the federal House of Representatives, which passed the law making marijuana illegal, just passed this act by a vote of 321 to 103, protecting banks who would like to profit from this $10 billion a year (industry) by providing money laundering services to them.
This seems totally irrational. If the marijuana drug is illegal under federal law, why would the federal government try to facilitate the industry selling it? Is this the federal government aiding and abetting a federal crime? And why? Perhaps the great minds in our Congress should consider helping those who are financing the opioid crisis; there is probably more money to be made there.
Can you imagine the consequences if this law were to be approved and then the attorney general decided to enforce the law that says marijuana is illegal? The FBI and other law enforcement agencies would come into Oregon, Colorado and the rest of the states where marijuana is being sold in violation of federal law.
They would seize the businesses, confiscating their money, product and properties, and then the U.S. Treasury or whatever agency is charged with protecting the banks who would finance this industry would come in and use our tax dollars to compensate those who financed the illegal operations that another branch of the federal government put out of business.
The whole business strikes me as a back-door way of attempting to force on the nation an acceptance of marijuana as a legitimate drug. So why not confront the issue of the legality of the drug at the federal level rather than go about this preposterous sham? If Mr. Bluemenaeur and others in Congress really want to help the marijuana industry, why not take up legislation to legalize the drug?
What they are doing with this SAFE Banking Act seems totally irrational.
John Bonham is a Newberg resident
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