Protect Marijuana-Friendly Banks from Federal Prosecution

Target: Members of Congress

Goal: Do not federally prosecute banks for supporting the legal marijuana industry.

A bill was recently introduced to Congress that would protect financial institutions that provide banking services to marijuana businesses. Currently, financial institutions risk federal prosecution for working with marijuana businesses because they are federally illegal. Please sign this petition in support of financial responsibility and accountability for marijuana businesses.

Eighteen states have adopted medical marijuana laws and two states have adopted recreational marijuana laws. Despite the vast number of marijuana businesses being operated across the country, there aren’t any financial institutions that can legally provide banking services. Because banks are regulated federally, and marijuana is federally illegal, financial institutions face federal prosecution for conducing business with marijuana retailers. The result is a billion dollar industry that primarily deals in cash.

Congressmen from Colorado and Washington, the two states that passed recreational marijuana legislation, have introduced a bill that helps both marijuana businesses and financial institutions. The proposed bill would shield financial institutions from prosecution if they allow marijuana businesses access to any banking services. Under the proposed bill, financial institutions would not be in violation of federal drug law and marijuana businesses could make deposits, apply for loans and accept credit cards.

Not only would this proposed bill further legitimize and protect marijuana businesses, but it would open new revenue opportunities for the banking industry. Please sign this petition and support the bill to protect banks from federal prosecution for working with businesses legalized in their state.

PETITIONL LETTER:

Dear Members of Congress,

A bill was recently introduced that would shield banks from federal prosecution for conducting business with legal marijuana retailers. As marijuana industry continues to grow it is ridiculous to think it can be sustainable without banking institutions. Please support the proposed bill that would further legitimize the marijuana industry and provide new revenue for the banking industry.

With 18 states having now adopted medical marijuana laws, and 2 states figuring out voter approved recreational marijuana laws, it is evident that the marijuana industry is here to stay. Unfortunately, they hit a road block to legitimization due to the lack of financial resources available. Because marijuana is still federally illegal and financial institutions are federally regulated, banks face federal prosecution if they avail services to marijuana retailers. The result is a billion dollar industry doing business primarily in cash.

Marijuana businesses contribute millions of dollars in tax revenue from the sale of marijuana. Just like any other small businesses they submit taxes and making those payments is unnecessarily challenging because they do not have access to banking services that other local businesses take for granted. The medical marijuana trade in Colorado alone claimed $200 million in sales in 2012. With recreational marijuana rolling out by early 2014, that figure will increase considerably – meaning even more tax revenues for the state.

Despite their hardy contribution to the state revenue, marijuana businesses cannot access banking services. The proposed bill would protect financial institutions from federal prosecution, there by allowing marijuana business to make deposits, apply for loans and accept credit cards. Basically, they would be able to conduct business like any other legitimate business.

Please support the proposed bill and work with the already established and constantly growing marijuana industry, not against it.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: marijuana via Yahoo

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