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The House Voted Marijuana Businesses Can Legally Use Banks

By: David H.

The House of Representatives voted state-legal marijuana businesses can lawfully use banks and other financial institutions. The significance of the memorable bipartisan agreement was changing how the federal government treats marijuana. As the bill was the first stand-alone marijuana legalization bill to pass either chamber of Congress, some are concerned about an underline agenda.

U.S. Represitive Ed Perlmutter stated, "People in states and localities across the country are voting to approve some level of marijuana use, and we need these marijuana businesses and employees to have access to checking accounts, lines of credit, payroll accounts, and more. Most importantly, this will also reduce the risk of violent crime in our communities. These businesses and their employees become targets for murder, robbery, assault, and more by dealing in all cash. "

The SAFE Banking Act (Secure and Fair Enforcement) shields financial institutions from being held liable for doing business with marijuana growers and pot shops in states where the drug is legalized. U.S. Represitive Patrick McHenry voted against marijuana businesses using banks because the bill could give drug cartels access to U.S. financial institutions. 

Should marijuana remain as a Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act? This act classifies marijuana under "no currently accepted medical use" and "a lack of accepted safety for use. The SAFE Banking Act passed by a final vote of 321–103, with ten members abstaining. Ohio Representative Steve Stivers voiced support for the bill while noting that he would vote against any effort to legalize marijuana nationally.

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