- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
- Israel’s ambassador praises Obama, slams Human Rights Watch report
- Md. parents accused of locking up autistic twin sons
- Dancing Kim Jong-un video sparks North Korea fury
Obama admin.: Banks can do business with marijuana sellers
Question of the Day
Banks can do business with marijuana sellers in states where use has been legalized either for recreational or medicinal purposes, under a new policy the Obama administration announced Friday.
In a seven-page memo, the Treasury Department said it will not target bank transactions with marijuana businesses in those states as long as the businesses are properly licensed and the banks are taking steps to make sure the businesses don’t show signs of gang or cartel-connected activity.
But banks will continue to be required to report on any suspicious activity they see, even in those states where marijuana use has been legalized, the department said.
Pot advocates hailed the changes as a key step in normalizing marijuana businesses.
“It appears that the Obama administration is trying to provide as much protection as possible for the marijuana industry, given the constraints of federal law,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
Pot advocates said some banks had been reluctant to let marijuana businesses open accounts. The advocates said the new policy should take care of that.
While polls show Americans increasingly open to marijuana legalization, and many states are moving in that direction, it remains a thorny issue on Capitol Hill. Decriminalization bills have regularly stalled, never advancing through committee.
That’s left President Obama to act on his own.
Last year, after Colorado and Washington state legalization policies took effect, the Justice Department said it would not interfere as long as efforts were made to hinder cartels’ involvement and as long as their was no evidence that children were gaining easier access to the drug.
Mr. Obama himself has said in recent interviews that he views alcohol as potentially more dangerous than marijuana, which he has admitted using when he was younger.
Pot advocates, who have long asked the president to take more leadership on the issue, said Friday the latest move was striking.
“I have to say I’m impressed by how the White House is trying to make this work, especially given the inability of Congress to do anything constructive in this area,” Mr. Nadelmann said.
Still, some advocates said the president should be even bolder.
“Removing the risks of operating as an ‘all-cash’ business cannot be overstated, but we will also continue to put pressure on the Obama Administration to wrap these types of discrete practices into a more comprehensive medical marijuana policy,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- Lois Lerner emails reveal gaping open-records loophole
- Two-thirds of illegal immigrant children approved for asylum: report
- Top Justice official denies conspiring with IRS on tea party targeting
- Boehner: No bill on border surge
- Taking Obama to court a long shot but lawsuit not folly, Congress is told
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- Obamacare dealt massive setback by federal appeals court
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq