Coffman urges action on marijuana banking bill
Last Updated: 18:11 March 24, 2014
Coffman in a letter Monday reminded committee chairwoman Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, that voters had passed referenda legalizing recreational use of marijuana. A total of 18 Republicans and Democrats sponsored the bill, including Colorado U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, all Democrats.
"I am concerned that while marijuana is now legal in these two states, federal banking regulations still prohibit, without any exceptions, the financial services industry from dealing with businesses that profit from controlled substances," Coffman said in the letter.
The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2013, co-sponsored by Coffman, would bar federal regulators from punishing banks that provide services to marijuana businesses.
Cash-only marijuana businesses are vulnerable to "increased criminality" and will not have the necessary audit trail for the collection of tax revenues owed to local, state and federal governments, Coffman said.
"While we all may not agree with the wisdom of the decision to pass these referendums, they are now state law and should be respected by the federal government," he said.
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