The Record, 12 Aug 2015 – With the curtain about to rise on the climactic second act of the Mike Duffy trial, Justin Trudeau promised Tuesday to clean up the scandal-tainted Senate, while Stephen Harper set sight on neighbourhood drug labs. The Liberal leader vowed to clean up the prime minister’s "mess," accusing Harper of leading the "most secretive, divisive and hyper-partisan government in Canada’s history."
Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 16-14 today in favor of an amendment to allow state-compliant marijuana businesses to engage in relationships with financial institutions. Sponsored by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D) of Oregon and Patty Murray (D) of Washington, the amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill prohibits the US Treasury Department from using federal funds to take punitive actions against banks that provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses that are operating legally under state laws. Presently, most major financial institutions refuse to provide services to state-compliant operators in the marijuana industry out of fear of federal repercussions. Their refusal to do so presents an unnecessary risk to both those who operate in the legal marijuana industry and to those consumers who patronize it. No industry can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions. Further, forcing state-licensed businesses to operate on a ‘cash-only’ basis increases the risks for crime and fraud. It is time for Congress to change federal policy so that this growing number of state-compliant businesses, and their consumers, may operate in a manner that is similar to other legal commercial entities. Today’s Senate Committee vote marks the first step taken by Congress to address these federal policy deficiencies. Although stand-alone legislation, The Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015, is pending in both the House and the Senate, it appears unlikely at this time that leadership will move forward with either bill. This means that the Merkley/Murray amendment is like to be reformer’s best opportunity this Congress to impose substantial banking reform. Keep following NORML’s blog and Take Action Center for legislative updates as this and other relevant reform measures progress.
Members of the United States Senate Appropriations Committee voted by a margin of 2 to 1 today in favor of language limiting the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed operations that are acting in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states. The provision was offered as an amendment by Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill. The Senate amendment mirrors language approved by the House last week in their version of the CJS bill. Passage of the provision reauthorizes protections signed into law last year, but which are set to expire this September. A vote by the full Senate and reconciliation with the House is necessary before the 2016 spending bill is transmitted to the President.
JURISTLouisiana legislature approves medical marijuana billJURIST[JURIST] The Louisiana House of Representatives [official website] approved a medical marijuana bill [legislative materials] on Thursday and sent the bill as amended back to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate previously approved the bill that seeks …Medical marijuana bill stopped in its tracksabc27Louisiana's medical marijuana bill poised for Legislature's approvalWDSU New OrleansLouisiana medical marijuana bill clears both chambers; Jindal expected to signNOLA.comThe Advocate -KATC Lafayette Newsall 325 news articles »
RI Senate panel hears of benefits of Colo. pot lawThe Providence JournalPROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Senate panel mulled legalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana on Tuesday heard from a Denver-based attorney who helped write the regulations for the same law in Colorado. The Senate Judiciary Committee listened to …