Banking on the Marijuana Industry?

Category: News | Posted on Thu, November, 26th 2015 by THCFinder

It is legal to sell marijuana in 23 states. But pot businesses can't deposit their money in banks because of federal banking laws. While the dilemma has been a back-burner issue in Congress for several years, a solution may be in the works.

A provision in the upcoming financial services spending bill would prevent the federal government from spending money on penalizing financial institutions that accept legal marijuana businesses as clients. That would greatly reduce the ability of federal agencies' to prosecute the banks.

Increased access to banking would, in turn, decrease the currently cash-only businesses' risk of robbery by allowing customers to pay with debit and credit cards, reduce the likelihood that the business could be used as a money-laundering front and solve the nightmare of trying to pay taxes with cash.

"Forcing businessmen and businesswomen who are operating legally under Oregon state law to shuttle around gym bags full of cash is an invitation to crime and malfeasance," said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. "It's time to let banks serve these legal businesses without fearing devastating reprisals from the federal government."

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Longtime California Activist Richard Lee Endorses Sean Parker’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Category: News | Posted on Thu, November, 26th 2015 by THCFinder

richard lee oaksterdamRichard Lee isn’t in the spotlight as much as he used to be. I first learned about Richard Lee when I saw him on national television talking about his dispensary and Oaksterdam University. It was awhile ago, so I don’t remember which news outlet it was on, but I will always remember Richard Lee’s passion for all things cannabis. In the video he showed the news anchor different types of cannabis, and was very patient and polite when she asked very dumb questions. Again, this was awhile ago, so the tongue-in-cheek comments were much more prevalent at the time.

This blog was created in 2010, the same year that Richard Lee ponied up a ton of his own money to be the main funder behind California Proposition 19. Proposition 19 wasn’t the first legalization effort in American history, but it is one that I use to measure marijuana reform. Proposition 19, despite its defeat in 2010 in California, ushered in a new era of marijuana politics. Just two years after Proposition 19 changed the conversation surrounding marijuana legalization, two states (Colorado and Washington) voted to legalize marijuana. Two years after that, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. joined the list of legalizers.

Sadly, California was unable to get on the ballot in 2012 and 2014. Getting an initiative, any initiative, on the ballot in California is expensive and takes a lot of resources. In 2012 and 2014 resources were spread too thin in California, with many legalization initiative efforts competing against each other. 2016 is setting up to be the biggest year in marijuana legalization history, with California being the focal point. Like usual, there are many efforts in California to get a legalization initiative on the ballot. Last I heard there were 10 of them.

One of them is getting a lot of buzz because of the massive amount of money backing it. The initiative is commonly referred to as the ‘Sean Parker marijuana legalization initiative’ since it’s main supporter is Sean Parker who co-founded Napster and was a very early investor in Facebook. That effort received a very significant endorsement yesterday, via an article on Marijuana.Com by the always hardworking Tom Angell. Per Tom’s article:

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Federal Lawmakers Apply Pressure to Eliminate DEA Funds

Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 25th 2015 by THCFinder

Days after a legion of activists and federal lawmakers petitioned to have DEA acting chief, Chuck Rosenberg, tarred and feathered in the streets of Washington D.C. for calling medical marijuana “a joke,” a mob of influential bruisers on Capitol Hill have stepped up to clobber the agency while they are down. 

Congressman Ted Lieu and a band of like-minded House members submitted a letter last week calling for leadership to support the elimination of funds used by the DEA to operate its controversial marijuana eradication program. As it stands, Uncle Sam’s drug enforcers receive $18 million a year to pull a weed that is legal in over half the nation. The group insists that a portion of this money—$9 million—would be better invested in programs that help victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. 

This push to strip funds away from the DEA is a result of the agency’s indiscretions over the course of the past several months. In fact, a number of federal lawmakers came out swinging at the face of the nation’s dope sniffers earlier this year after news of drug agents having orgies with cartel-paid hookers became the center of the national spotlight.

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Oregon Rejects Thanksgiving Day Baskets From Marijuana Industry

Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 24th 2015 by THCFinder
oregon dhs thanksgiving baskets marijuana

(image via the Statesman Journal)

I like to think that my home state, Oregon, is a generous state. Every place I have ever worked at has pooled together donations around the holidays to help needy families. So I was very disturbed to read about how the State of Oregon is rejecting Thanksgiving Day baskets for needy families if they come from the marijuana industry. Per Oregon Live:

Earlier this month a group of women in Oregon’s marijuana industry came up with a plan to donate baskets complete with turkeys and the fixings for a Thanksgiving Day meal for 20 needy families in Eugene.

At first, an agency employee based in the Eugene office welcomed the gift, said Lindsey Jacobsen, a founder of the group. But a few days later, the state reversed course, saying staff was spending too much time making arrangements for the gift.

“It was related to the fact that it was a marijuana-related business and the discomfort by the DHS office that it would give the appearance of some kind of endorsement,” said Gene Evans, a department spokesman.

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Report: War on Drugs Creates More Bad Than Good for Children

Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 24th 2015 by THCFinder

While the War on Drugs has been fought for the past several decades in the name of protecting the youth of America, a recent report has found that this “What About the Children?” approach to combating the insurgence of illegal substances in the United States has all been a ruse intent on sucking kids into a cesspool of addiction and incarceration.

new report published by global drug-reform group Count the Costs reveals that 50-years worth of enforcement-based controls on illegal substances has spawned nothing but ill results. 

The report finds that in forcing the drug trade underground, Uncle Sam has enabled a sickening environment that perpetuates attitudes of discrimination and racism. To make things worse, the whole rotten system is insistent upon spending billions of taxpayer dollars to maintain this ridiculousness.

It goes on to explain that under the guise of public safety, youngsters have been sabotaged and violated by a War on Drugs, which has done nothing but promote street violence, create struggles for families and give way to a land where a non-violent criminal record can cripple any opportunity of achieving what is left of the American Dream.

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Latest Studies Confirm Medical Marijuana Is Safe Long-Term

Category: News | Posted on Mon, November, 23rd 2015 by THCFinder

The latest Canadian study has confirmed that medical marijuana is a safe option – at least for those that are using it to treat chronic pain. It is, thus far, the largest study to be conducted in regards to the safety of using medical marijuana long term.

Effectively, they found that there are not really any serious adverse effects from using medical marijuana over a long period –  Canadian research gives medical marijuana a thumbs up!

“The largest study of the long-term safety of medical cannabis”

The team at Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montréal, Canada, have been doing research on the long-term safety of medical marijuana. They collected together a group of 215 people with whose chronic pain they were going to treat with marijuana to use as their test group. They had a group of 216 as a control group, whose non-cancer pain was not being treated with marijuana.

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