News Column

Polis Statement on DOJ's New Marijuana Banking Guidelines

February 14, 2014

Representative Jared Polis (CO-02) today made the following statement regarding the guidelines released by the Department of Justice allowing legal marijuana businesses access to banking services:

"I am thrilled that the Department of Justice has issued guidelines granting marijuana businesses access to federal banking institutions. I want to thank Attorney General Holder for working so quickly to get them released. These guidelines demonstrate that the Attorney General recognizes the importance of granting legal marijuana businesses access to banking services available to all other legal businesses. When a small business, such as a marijuana dispensary, can't access basic banking services they either have to become cash-only--and become targets of crime--or they'll end up out-of-business. In states that have legalized marijuana, and for businesses that have been state-approved, owners no longer have to fear the federal government will intrude and threaten banks that are involved in legal transactions.

"I hope that the guidelines released today provide enough clarity that some banks or credit unions feel comfortable doing business with legal marijuana businesses.

"While this is a huge step in the right direction, there is still much work to be done to ensure that legal marijuana businesses will not be prosecuted in the future. The only true way to protect these small business owners is to remove marijuana from the list of schedule 1 narcotics. The bi-partisan 'Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act,' which I sponsored would lift the federal prohibition on marijuana, and allow states, counties, and cities to regulate or ban marijuana as their citizens desire.

"Today's announcement gives me confidence that the President is beginning to put in place policies that reflect his recent statement that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and with the Administration to ensure the law reflects scientific realities."

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Source: Congressional Documents & Publications

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