Reflecting growing national acceptance of cannabis, a bipartisan coalition of House members voted early Friday to restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds to go after medical marijuana operations that are legal under state laws.
An appropriations amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) prohibiting the DEA from spending funds to arrest state-licensed medical marijuana patients and providers passed 219-189. The Senate will likely consider its own appropriations bill for the DEA, and the House amendment would have to survive a joint conference before it could go into effect.
Rohrabacher said on the House floor that the amendment "should be a no-brainer" for conservatives who support states' rights and argued passionately against allowing the federal government to interfere with a doctor-patient relationship.
"Some people are suffering, and if a doctor feels that he needs to prescribe something to alleviate that suffering, it is immoral for this government to get in the way," Rohrabacher said, his voice rising. "And that's what's happening."
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New guidelines were released today by the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department that will allow banks to do business with marijuana related businesses. Part of the text of the guidelines are here:
"The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) is issuing guidance to clarify Bank
Secrecy Act (“BSA”) expectations for financial institutions seeking to provide services to marijuana-related businesses. FinCEN is issuing this guidance in light of recent state initiatives to legalize certain marijuana-related activity and related guidance by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) concerning marijuana-related enforcement priorities. This FinCEN guidance clarifies how financial institutions can provide services to marijuana-related businesses consistent with their BSA obligations, and aligns the information provided by financial institutions in BSA reports with federal and state law enforcement priorities. This FinCEN guidance should enhance the availability of financial services for, and the financial transparency of, marijuana-related businesses
In assessing the risk of providing services to a marijuana-related business, a financial institution should conduct customer due diligence that includes: (i) verifying with the appropriate state authorities whether the business is duly licensed and registered; (ii) reviewing the license application (and related documentation) submitted by the business for obtaining a state license to operate its marijuana-related business; (iii) requesting from state licensing and enforcement authorities available information about the business and related parties; (iv) developing an understanding of the normal and expected activity for the business, including the types of products to be sold and the type of customers to be served (e.g., medical versus recreational
customers); (v) ongoing monitoring of publicly available sources for adverse information about the business and related parties; (vi) ongoing monitoring for suspicious activity, including for any of the red flags described in this guidance; and (vii) refreshing information obtained as part of customer due diligence on a periodic basis and commensurate with the risk. With respect to
information regarding state licensure obtained in connection with such customer due diligence, a financial institution may reasonably rely on the accuracy of information provided by state licensing authorities, where states make such information available."
Read the full guidelines here!
Airport officials at the Colorado Springs Airport installed “amnesty boxes” for their customers that decide at the last minute not to fly so high. The boxes are designed to allow residents and tourists that brought marijuana with them to the airport and then decide that they don't want to take the chance of taking it with them. “What we don’t want is them throwing it in the trash can,” said Phillips. “Then you have other people digging through the garbage.”.
Possession of marijuana is now legal in Colorado but passengers caught carrying it in the airport are subject to arrest, jail time and fines up to 2 500 dollars.
Here are the rules for marijuana at the COS airport.
NOTICE: MARIJUANA IS PROHIBITED IN THIS FACILITY
It is unlawful to possess, consume, use, display, transfer, distribute, sell, transport, or grow (?) marijuana (including both recreational and medical) in or upon the passenger terminal facility, any overhang area to the passenger terminal facility, or the Air Operations Area (AOA) of the Colorado
Springs Municipal Airport. This includes all passenger carry-on and checked baggage. You must dispose of any and all marijuana before entering prohibited areas and/or checking baggage. Violators may be assessed a fine of not more than $2,500, imprisonment up to 189 days, probation, or a combination of fine, imprisonment, or probation, in addition to any other applicable penalties
under state or federal law.
Mr. Capra is the COO of the DEA. In a Congressional Hearing he almost has a break down while he tries to reverse the national trend towards legalizing marijuana. Much of what he testified to is blatantly false. One example: "Every part of the world where this has been tried, it has failed time and time again". Is he talking about Colorado? Uruguay? Washington? Where has it been tried and failed? He also claimed that a dispensary in California used their dispensary to launder money from their meth operation. Everyone who knows anything about marijuana policy knows that banking is a HUGE problem. Banks won't deal with cannabusiness. The DEA is scared alright. They are scared that their asset forfeiture slush fund is going to dry up.
Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.