State Legislators Urge Federal Government to Reform Failed Marijuana Policies

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October 28, 2016
Denver, CO

capitolAt their annual summit in Chicago, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) approved a policy resolution calling for marijuana policy reform at the federal level. The NCSL has adopted a resolution advocating for the Controlled Substances Act to be amended in order to remove marijuana from Schedule I and to allow banking for marijuana businesses in states where they may legally operate.

Even in states in which marijuana is legally sold in a taxed and regulated market, businesses that sell either medical or retail marijuana face significant financial and regulatory burdens due to marijuana’s Schedule I status. Perhaps the most significant of those burdens is restriction from banking services of any kind, forcing such businesses to carry vast sums of cash and making them particularly vulnerable to theft.

As Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project told,

The resolution adopted this year recognizes that outdated federal marijuana laws are presenting the states with some serious public safety issues. …There is an immediate need for access to banking and other financial services for state-legal marijuana businesses. Like most Americans, state lawmakers are tired of waiting for Congress to catch up on this issue.

This is the second year in a row that the NCSL adopted a policy position urging federal marijuana policy reform; last year, the conference passed a resolution supporting a state’s ability to reform its own marijuana laws without fear of federal interference. Both of these resolutions required 75% support from member states present; both passed on voice vote.

While the resolutions have no binding power over federal law, they reflect the nation’s widespread frustration with federal marijuana policy, especially its interference with state marijuana laws. State-legal businesses must be allowed to protect their own finances; state legislators recognize this, but we continue to wait for federal legislators to do the same.

The post State Legislators Urge Federal Government to Reform Failed Marijuana Policies appeared first on MPP Blog.

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