Civil rights groups desires reform just before cannabis banking vote


Seven civil rights groups have sent a letter to U.S. Residence Democratic leadership asking to delay voting on a cannabis banking bill.

The groups are requesting a vote be place off till extra complete reforms addressing criminal and social justice difficulties are thought of.

“We are concerned that if the Residence approves this bill, it will undermine broader and extra inclusive efforts to reform our country’s marijuana laws,” states the letter, which was addressed to Residence Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Residence Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland.

“The banking bill does not address marijuana reform holistically. As an alternative, it narrowly addresses the situation of banking and enhanced access to monetary solutions, measures that would advantage the marijuana market, not communities who have felt the brunt of prohibition,” the letter added.

The letter, initially reported by Politico, was sent by a group that integrated the American Civil Liberties Union, Drug Policy Alliance, Human Rights Watch, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Below Law.

Mariel Saez, Hoyer’s deputy communications director, wrote in an e mail Wednesday to Marijuana Enterprise Everyday that Hoyer received the letter “and is discussing the legislation with members. A vote has not been scheduled.”

Saez said final week that Hoyer intended to place the Protected Banking Act to a vote just before the finish of September, immediately after consulting with other Residence leaders, committee chairs and members.

The Protected Banking Act would permit monetary institutions and insurance coverage providers to serve cannabis and ancillary providers without the need of worry of federal punishment.

Stress to contemplate cannabis reform that addresses social and criminal justice difficulties not only is coming from the outdoors, but inside the Democratic Celebration as effectively, especially progressives.

It is a concern that has been raised at committee hearings and is a focal point of Residence Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler’s Marijuana Chance Reinvestment and Expungement (Much more) Act of 2019.

The civil rights groups signing the letter especially urged Congress to move forward with the Much more Act.

Much more has in impact supplanted the STATES Act as the major complete bill in the Residence.

The STATES Act, which would permit states the correct to opt for how to regulate marijuana, does not contain distinct social and criminal justice provisions.

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Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]


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