December 23, 2019
The holiday season means many things to many people, but for Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), it means walking back commitments to moving cannabis reform forward and turning into the Marijuana Grinch.
“Wait, what?!” you ask?
Last Wednesday, he essentially demanded that in exchange for allowing the cannabis industry to access to basic banking services, that the federal government should impose a 2% THC cap on marijuana products and prohibit the retail sale of marijuana-infused edibles or e-liquid vapor extracts.
Over one-quarter of the US population now lives in a jurisdiction where the retail sale of cannabis products to adults is legally regulated by state statute and 33 states have legalized the sale of marijuana to qualified patients. Despite this reality, the Senate refuses to act.
As the Chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Crapo had previously said that his Committee would be willing to take up the recently passed House legislation known as the SAFE Banking Act. But it now appears some powerful prohibitionists have gotten to him because he has reversed his willingness to thoughtfully and substantively engage on this issue.
Currently, federal lawmakers are mandating that this rapidly growing legal industry operates on a cash-only basis – an environment that makes businesses more susceptible to theft and more difficult to audit. It also places the safety and welfare of these businesses’ customers and patients at risk, as they must carry significant amounts of cash on their persons in order to make legal purchases at retail facilities. Similarly, it needlessly jeopardizes the safety of retail staffers, who are susceptible to robbery.
These are the points that resonated with Sen. Crapo until recently and we cannot allow the prohibitionists to make the “grinch-ification” of him permanent.
Only when we directly call out elected officials for their fear-mongering and lies will we be able to win. After you send a message to Sen. Crapo, help us spread the word!
By working together, this could be one of the last holiday seasons under marijuana prohibition.
written by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director