Legal Pot’s Cash Conundrum

pot_shopOn Sunday February 16th, I bought legal weed for the first time from a recreational cannabis store in Denver, Co.  I spent a few minutes speaking with some of the employees, as I was eager to hear how things were going under this newly sanctioned marijuana market.  Unsurprisingly, business was great.  Some items were selling quicker than others, but everyone was in agreement that the rollout of Colorado’s legal cannabis retail system had been a great success, except for one crucial component that was as unsettling as it was expected – we were standing in one of a few dozen high profile stores, well-known for having excessive amounts of cash on hand (in the first week of sales, businesses generated $5 million in cash-only transactions) and no where to put it, because the banks won’t take it.

Clearly, denying these pot stores the ability to safely deposit their earnings poses an imminent threat to public safety.  These shops are easy targets for robbery and assault (as well as other forms of criminal activity), which puts customers and employees at serious risk.  Some of these shop owners are considering banning backpacks or other large bags – others are arming their workers.  Neither of these options are a viable solution.

This problem isn’t new however, nor is it going unnoticed.  On February 14th, the Department of Treasury released a nonbinding memorandum, in conjunction with the Justice Department stating that banks may consider working with pot retailers without fear of prosecution – so long as they remain in compliance with state laws, and followed other instructions outlined in the memo.  Though a truly historic and progressive action by the federal government’s leading financial regulatory body, these guidelines are largely symbolic, providing no actual legal protection to banks working with cannabis shops.   As such, most financial companies remain skeptical about getting involved with a market existing under so many contradictory laws.

According to federal law, these banks could technically be found guilty of money laundering (among other offenses) for handling the proceeds of what the US government still considers an illegal drug.  The Colorado Bankers Association rightly notes that the guidance issued by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Treasury “only reinforces and reiterates that banks can be prosecuted for providing accounts to marijuana related businesses.”  The Association further criticizes these new guidelines, stating that “Bankers had expected the guidance to relieve them of the threat of prosecution should they open accounts for marijuana businesses, but the guidance does not do that.  Instead, it reiterates reasons for prosecution and is simply a modified reporting system for banks to use. It imposes a heavy burden on them to know and control their customers’ activities, and those of their customers.”

Is it any surprise then that these guidelines – which include a multi-tiered labeling structure and a requirement for banks to maintain ‘suspicious activity reports’ – have left many financial institutions with cold feet?  Two of Colorado’s largest banks, Wells Fargo and FirstBank have already announced they won’t work with weed-related enterprises.  In fact, most financial trade associations have widely rejected these latest overtures because there are no tangible, legal policies in place.

Despite the skepticism held by many federal administration officials and other politicians, the government can and should be doing much more to enable the success of this new, legal market. Unfortunately, many are sitting on their hands, and holding their breath – hoping to quietly ride out this growing wave of support for legalization, which shows no sign of subsiding.  Over 50% of the US population supports a regulated marijuana retail system for adults.

Its time for these officials to concede to the will of the electorate, and address the legitimate needs of this new industry. Lawmakers now have an opportunity to show true leadership in this changing political landscape by supporting legislation that would give states and businesses the resources necessary to enable a responsible and successful implementation of this new “great experiment.” Specifically, they should get behind the “Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act,” introduced by Colorado representative Ed Perlmutter.  This bill (HR 2652), already endorsed by the Colorado Bankers Association, would alter various banking laws to protect banks providing services to marijuana-related businesses from the threat of federal prosecution and other penalties.

Financial institutions don’t operate off good-faith statements (including non-binding memorandums) – even those from the Department of Treasury, or any other enforcement agency.  They operate under explicit legal authorization.  Only when the laws change will the banks truly be free to provide the services these businesses so desperately need, and their communities rightly deserve.

 

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 Contact your representative today and tell them to support HR 2652

55 thoughts

  1. The banking and monetary system are the problem itself.

    Here is how it works, sadly enough:

    The Congress decides it needs money. It makes out an IOU to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve calculates 10% of what Congress wants, then sends that as an electronic transfer request to the Treasury Department.

    The Treasury Department prints that money and gives it to the system of banks, which in turn lends the money out to people or consumers, at interest, from the prime rate all the way up to 29.99% and even beyond.

    The other 90% of what Congress wanted is CREATED this way by charging interest on the citizenry.

    This is called fractional reserve banking. Banks need only hold 10% at maximum to give creedence to their customers that they can confidently return the money deposited.

    What is the national debt? It’s the 10% that the fed sent electronically to the Treasury.

    The Monetary Reform Act would create US NOTES that would end the privilge the FED holds, the privilege of a few men to control the entire country and fuel the world banking cartels (IMF, World Bank, Int’l bank of settlements) that create poverty and instability in the world.

    The national debt would be gone. The military industrial, prohibition industrial complexes would be gone.

    Real war and Drug war, other contrived wars on inanimate objects and arbitrary targets–they create a lot of money for bankers, at the cost of horrible social problems and human rights violations. These are intentional results from the few in control, all of them bankers whose greed exceeds anything normal people could even fathom.

    Screw the banking system. They create panics on whim to create money for themselves. The Great Depression was a man-made event. The Morgans, Carnegies etc. created the FED, which all presidents and the founding fathers warned would end up enslaving the American people.

    It happened. They take 33% of your work wages before you even see them, so you can serve as a guarantor on the debt which. could. be. eliminated. by leaving the fractional reserve system of fiat currency backed by no real value. No more inflation. Reduced taxes.

    The banks will be the downfall of the United States, more than any foreign enemy. This is a real possibility more than any invasion or mass destruction.

    Who is powerful enough to start wars abroad and keep a failed and fraudulent drug war going? Who controlled Nixon the entire time in office, all of it taped by him, which now serves as evidence. The bankers?

    Yes.

    Ditch Chase Bank, it’s run by a Carnegie. I did and it felt great. The bankers are the problem. The monetary system is broken at its core. FULL RESERVE BANKING would eliminate the national debt and inflation.

  2. What does it take to start your own bank or credit union with fellow shop owners? I have no idea ,so it may not be an option. The OLD Republican guard.

  3. I’m not sure what a ‘nonbinding memorandum’ is. Who or what is not bound by its declarations.

  4. I took my pilgrimage (basically x-country) to CO and given the state of many of the neighborhoods the shops in Denver were in- it’s only a matter of time before someone tries a Hollywood movie style heist. The thought definitely occurred to me that political opponents, law enforcement, and anyone benefiting from prohibition can’t wait for this to happen to “prove” that cannibis “brings down the moral foundation” of once thriving and vibrant neighborhoods. These were “ghettos”- and a few of the shops I was in must have brought in $1,000 in cash in the 5 mins or so I spent in them. I can’t see how that is a recipe for anything but disaster and bad ink. Feds need to bite the bullet and admit that they’ve fought a futile and dishonest battle and catch up with the times that have already long passed them. One thing all of these shops had in common- they were all legitimate businesses with good, knowledgeable employees who deserve to feel like they aren’t wearing a giant sign that says “Rob Me” when they come to work until the moment they leave.

    Allowing these business owners to bank may not erase the threat- but it’ll make it less tempting and it’ll make the taxation of these businesses more cut and dry. The people of (2) states have spoken- just like the people of several other states will continue overruling Federal law. The opportunity for a proactive approach by the Feds is presenting itself to reclassify cannibis or nix the “money laundering” threats to banks as the legal movement continues to spread.

  5. There should be more stores working with lower cash volumes per store and they should be taking fair margins (not to exceed 30% profit for a retail operation).

    Additionally, I don’t believe anyone is stopping these people from setting up their own bank.

  6. And we’re back again to the same problem, and that is the current Schedule 1 classification of Cannabis within the CSA. Not one constuctive arument concerning Cannabis ends without coming to this conclusion. I challenge anyone to present any problem about this that can’t be resolved by moving Cannabis to Schedule III or IV.
    Our governments’ perpetual thirst to control every facet of human existant is appalling, and the obvious corrupt futility of it all is only serving to further insult the intelligence of us all.

  7. Can the government be charged with something as well because they dont mind taking the tax money…….

  8. Good point how can a bank possibly know what any business who banks with them is doing or if they are in full compliance with state law. Surely so long as the bank shows best endeavours to co-operate with state law (i.e. checks that a cannabis business is properly registered when the account is opened) there can be no case against them if the business is subsequently shown to be in contravention of the law. Any business that the bank opens an account for (cannabis based or not) could be breaking state or federal law or laundering money without the bank’s knowledge – the banks know this and have the legal clout to defend it in court. They are simply trying to make it hard for these businesses to function but banks cannot resist the money for too long so it will eventually happen.

  9. Jimmy’s comment is ignorant and misinformed… take an economics class before you pretend to know how the economy works. 90% of what you just said is false

  10. Bankers are to be trusted, why? What have they done with interest rates? The student loan crisis is a direct source of income for them, at the expense of those trying to better themselves. Controlling cash in an industries infancy is daunting and without support from tradional sources curbs efforts by simply removing the rug from under their feet.

  11. Thank you Sabrina, (and Jimmy) once again for your hot-on-topic reporting of this threat to liberty in the form of banking regulation.
    @Jimmy, I agree creating notes to replace the FED under the Monetary Reform Act would solve a problem with all the hat-switching between bank CEOs and the FED created 100 years ago by the Federal Reserve Act. But when it comes to Cannibanking, im afraid we are drawn into the socio-economic ethical argument over the morality of patenting cannabinoids in the first place and the inequality this U.S. patent creates within society or even our coexistence with the living planet. We can even go back to printing notes out of hemp, but as long as we allow the government to sell the right to grow fertile seeds to Monsantos, we’ve lost the battle before we have begun. Lets not forget while we wrap our minds around the fact that we need bank securities from the same bank monsters who rob us blind everyday, that our freedom is measured not only by our ability to insure our bank accounts, but by our ability to grow our own organic food, medicine, fuel and building materials with our own clean community water. You cant put a note or a guarantee on that greater than our Constitutional Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Transparency does not mean “invisibility” but with the convuluted mess the Department of “Justice” poured on legalized cannibanking they may as well drink terpentine and piss on a brushfire if they thought the banks would lend themselves to prosecution.
    Theres a tragic, greedy battle going on here between the DOJ and the FED to control marijuana regulation. The DOJ wants to set up the banks just like they do druglords like Gusman… Fatten them up, milk’m for what they worth and then it’s off to the slaughter. (Gotta love asset forfeitures… Thats what you get when you let a crooked law enforcer like Nixon and a piss testing Drug Czar like Robert DuPont regulate our drug policy)
    But setting up the banks, Eric Holder? The same banks that wash all the laundered drug money and create credit for the FEDS? That’s a move beyond hubris. It’s not even like the “prohibition buck stops here;” As Jimmy points out, the banks CREATE the majority of our bucks, and the FED just GIVES them the rest in interest, so why would they just HAND their money over to the DOJ by complying with a catch 22 not of their own making? Did the banks give back the money from the “stimulus” funds in the form of small business loans? No. They spent it on executive bonuses to CEOs. So why would they give up the names of legal cannibusinesses if they wont give up the names of the ILLEGAL ones?
    What this sad display from the DOJ is about
    These “guidelines” were built by thieves and made for the biggest crooks of them all; drug-money laundering, credit fabricating banks. Its just as well Wells Fargo denied assistance to Colorado marijuana dispensaries. They’re so crooked, their money is safer in local community banks even when they DO pass the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act.

  12. As an Investor in Hemp/Cannabis, My question is that The shops are taking their revenue in the form of cash and having to exchange it for Money Orders. Is this also not a form of Laundering? and if so, why isn’t the place doing the exchange facing laundering charges?
    The first Bank to Authorize transactions is going to become quite wealthy.

  13. The US Federal Govt needs to be suited by the American public for making us as rightful voters look bad because the majority of the public sees potential in marijuana whether its medicinal or revenue the federal govt needs to be more accountable because they will not take responsibility in seeing the potential this substance has. Alcohol is far more dangerous than weed plain and simple and the govt has neglected these facts for too long and have gotten away with this. Innocent people have been put away for something that is far more harmless than alcohol. They need to be put on the stand they cannot think like the 70s and 80s anymore there is to many facts about marijuana and until they realize that marijuana will never be researched to improve its flaws. I mean look at alcohol in the 1920s to 30s it was dog shit until it was able to be back on the market and the product became better quality today than it was back than but still is by far more harmful and dangerous so the federal govt has let alcohol do its thing for this long and we still see people die daily from the effects it causes to an individual or people they’re around absolutely ridiculous.

  14. And if they’re worried about cartels and what not the revenue from marijuana can be put towards border patrol to better stop those cartels. And they are worried about extortion for marijuana businesses from these cartels well until its rescheduled banks will not participate in it and its going to be way more difficult for the federal govt to watch these cartels and stop them because the moneys not being looked at all the way. This is makes the whole United States system look bogus and the federal govt weak for not stepping up to enforce this much needed steps to stop drug cartels.

  15. Don’t you think if United States actually rescheduled it and put the rest of the world on notice with the benefit from marijuana these 3rd world countries would actually be able control the black market and some of these nations such as Iran or North Korea est wouldn’t be trying to harm other nations with marijuana being legal world wide. I personally would see a major shift in world politics that would better everyone on Earth

  16. Too much religion and politics mix. The world needs to step away from religion and politics going together it doesn’t work nations are still fighting over religious beliefs and its only going to bring people harm. For example worldwide Iran and Israel fighting over a long belief of holy land. And here in the US the republicans are fighting marijuana legalization due to their moral beliefs well fuck your morale beliefs your not going to tell me your in the right spot to put an innocent person in jail over your moral believes. This way of thinking needs to stop period.

  17. Galileo, that is what toilet paper is made from, “non-binding memorandum”. It is unprofessional.

  18. “And we’re back again to the same problem, and that is the current Schedule 1 classification of Cannabis within the CSA. Not one constuctive arument concerning Cannabis ends without coming to this conclusion. I challenge anyone to present any problem about this that can’t be resolved by moving Cannabis to Schedule III or IV.”

    This isn’t true persay. If we just apply the law which says Schedule One materials are this: XXX and marijuana is not XXX. It is YYY. This argument is so much as it would require the DEA the to actually the law they use again their own citizens. They are putting people in jail because they can’t follow the law as it is written. How will changing the law and they’re still not follow it going to help anyone? The law itself places marijuana in schedule four.

  19. They illegally have marijuana listed as a schedule one material–they can’t follow the law. And everyday they don’t, they continue damaging our society.

  20. Yeah banks lend money out they don’t actually have, i started when in very beginning when banks realized paper money is as good at gold. Then feds make up the interest rate that they ill give the loans out to and then the banks mark that up to make profit. it doesn’t seem we ever get any closer to paying the dept off. it was close with Clinton then George ran it up 10 times that amount for the wars in middle east. Iraq never flew planes into our building not one of terrorist were Iraqs and we never found andy chemical weapons. Even one cabin ate member leaned in to General Shelton the Chief of Staff at the time and said to him, “Can you fly one of U2 low and slow so Iraq will shoot it down. Shelton, said sure i can and the cabinat member smiled and then General Shelton said “As soon as i can train you to fly the U2 i will fly as low and slow as you want me to, the cabinet member jumped back and said i probably shouldn’t have said that. Bush never wanted to find Bin Laden he let Bin Ladens family leave the country when nobody else could fly. The first thing you do in a murder is you talk to the family. Anyways as long as republicans exist we will sold the national dept.

  21. Wachovia and HSBC didn’t mind taking 1.1 trillion in drug cartel money.
    That was OK cause that was total corruption. Under the counter. Out of sight. But to do business out in the open is just too much. Are these guys ever introverted. The message from the boys at the top is that they’re only interested in big business. No-one else matters.

  22. Right, Wachovia and HSBC committed crimes that we all would have been put away for life, and they were given a fine instead.

    Corruption!!!!!!!!!!

  23. @Dave Evans
    I really don’t care what reason is used to move Cannabis off schedule one. My only point is that once it has been moved the legal grounds for such high level Federal interference into State level issues will become weeker and thus getting us all closer to what is right. And yes you have a good point about them following the law, but isn’t that the root cause of all the problems facing us today. Also, had honesty prevailed 70+ years ago, life would be much different now.

  24. To make the suggestion that I study basic economics, and then to pull out a figure like “90%” of what I wrote was false, and without elaboration, is an interesting way to refute one’s statements or opinion.

    http://www.themoneymasters.com/monetary-reform-act/

    http://www.themoneymasters.com/the-money-masters/famous-quotations-on-banking/

    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” – Thomas Jefferson

    … The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating. -Thomas Jefferson

    The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity. -Abraham Lincoln

    Issue of currency should be lodged with the government and be protected from domination by Wall Street. We are opposed to…provisions [which] would place our currency and credit system in private hands. – Theodore Roosevelt

    Despite these warnings, Woodrow Wilson signed the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. A few years later he wrote: I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men. -Woodrow Wilson

    Years later, reflecting on the major banks’ control in Washington, President Franklin Roosevelt paid this indirect praise to his distant predecessor President Andrew Jackson, who had “killed” the 2nd Bank of the US (an earlier type of the Federal Reserve System). After Jackson’s administration the bankers’ influence was gradually restored and increased, culminating in the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Roosevelt knew this history.

    The real truth of the matter is,as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever sincethe days of Andrew Jackson… -Franklin D. Roosevelt(in a letter to Colonel House, dated November 21, 1933)

    “The death of Lincoln was a disaster for Christendom. There was no man in the United States great enough to wear his boots and the bankers went anew to grab the riches. I fear that foreign bankers with their craftiness and tortuous tricks will entirely control the exuberant riches of America and use it to systematically corrupt civilization.” Otto von Bismark (1815-1898), German Chancellor, after the Lincoln assassination

    “That this House considers that the continued issue of all the means of exchange – be they coin, bank-notes or credit, largely passed on by cheques – by private firms as an interest-bearing debt against the public should cease forthwith; that the Sovereign power and duty of issuing money in all forms should be returned to the Crown, then to be put into circulation free of all debt and interest obligations…” Captain Henry Kerby MP, in an Early Day Motion tabled in 1964.

    “Banks lend by creating credit. They create the means of payment out of nothing.”

    Ralph M Hawtry, former Secretary to the Treasury.

    “… our whole monetary system is dishonest, as it is debt-based… We did not vote for it. It grew upon us gradually but markedly since 1971 when the commodity-based system was abandoned.” The Earl of Caithness, in a speech to the House of Lords, 1997.

    “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company.

    “The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is, perhaps, the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate, mint and un-mint the modern ledger-entry currency.” Major L L B Angus.

    “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.” John Kenneth Galbraith (1908- ), former professor of economics at Harvard, writing in ‘Money: Whence it came, where it went’ (1975).

    As Nicolas Trist – secretary to President Andrew Jackson – said about the incredibly powerful privately owned Second Bank of the United States, “Independently of its misdeeds, the mere power, — the bare existence of such a power, — is a thing irreconcilable with the nature and spirit of our institutions.” (Schlesinger, The Age of Jackson, p.102)

    http://www.themoneymasters.com/monetary-reform-act/

    The Two Step Plan to
    National Economic
    Reform and Recovery

    Step 1: Directs the Treasury Department to issue U.S. Notes (like Lincoln’s Greenbacks; can also be in electronic deposit format) to pay off the National debt.

    Step 2: Increases the reserve ratio private banks are required to maintain from 10% to 100%, thereby terminating their ability to create money, while simultaneously absorbing the funds created to retire the national debt.

    These two relatively simple steps, which Congress has the power to enact, would extinguish the national debt, without inflation or deflation, and end the unjust practice of private banks creating money as loans (i.e., fractional reserve banking). Paying off the national debt would wipe out the $400+ billion annual interest payments and thereby balance the budget. This Act would stabilize the economy and end the boom-bust economic cycles caused by fractional reserve banking.

    Monetary Reform Act – A Summary (in four paragraphs)
    This proposed law would require banks to increase their reserves on deposits from the current 10%, to 100%, over a one-year period. This would abolish fractional reserve banking (i.e., money creation by private banks) which depends upon fractional (i.e., partial) reserve lending.

    To provide the funds for this reserve increase, the US Treasury Department would be authorized to issue new United States Notes (and/or US Note accounts) sufficient in quantity to pay off the entire national debt (and replace all Federal Reserve Notes).

    The funds required to pay off the national debt are always closely equivalent to the amount of money the banks have created by engaging in fractional lending because the Fed creates 10% of the money the government needs to finance deficit spending (and uses that newly created money to buy US bonds on the open market), then the banks create the other 90% as loans (as is explained on our FAQ page). Thus the national debt closely tracks the combined total of US Treasury debt held by the Fed (10%) and the amount of money created by private banks (90%).

    Because this two-part action (increasing bank reserves to 100% and paying off the entire national debt) adds no net increase to the money supply (the two actions cancel each other in net effect on the money supply), it would cause neither inflation nor deflation, but would result in monetary stability and the end of the boom-bust pattern of US economic activity caused by our current, inherently unstable system.

    Thus our entire national debt would be extinguished – thereby dramatically reducing or entirely eliminating the US budget deficit and the need for taxes to pay the $400+ billion interest per year on the national debt – and our economic system would be stabilized, while ending the terrible injustice of private banks being allowed to create over 90% of our money as loans on which they charge us interest. Wealth would cease to be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands as a result of private bank money creation. Thereafter, apart from a regular 3% annual increase (roughly matching population growth), only Congress would have the power to authorize changes in the US money supply – for public use -not private banks increasing only private bankers’ wealth.

  25. Why is it that people continue to accept the legitimacy of the scheduling system at all?

    The focus is always on “rescheduling” when in actually, what is needed is a critical review of the scheduling system, and what it’s major purpose is.

    It is not a universal measure of “potential for abuse” or “accepted medical use,” especially since these are essentially-contested terms, and are therefore arbitrary. “Acceptance” depends on mere disapproval or bias, not on real medical science.

    Cigarettes have high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Yet those aren’t scheduled at all?

    How can the scheduling system be considered credible at all? It’s not scientific, it’s political, considering the toll tobacco addiction takes on health care and its costs. Yes there are real health problems and annual deaths, yet people accept unscheduled cigarettes as if they are not drugs? as if they should not be scheduled as well?

    Reassess the scheduling system itself, not rescheduling within an arbitrary, non-scientific pigeon-holing system based on mere disapproval, misclassification of cannabis as a “narcotic,” and intellectually dishonest stone-walling and ignorance of the health benefits of exocannabinoid supplementation for those with endocannabinoid deficiencies.

    If the federal pharmacology rules are to be dictated by the department of justice, who knows why this is the case, then they should rely, as stated by the Honorable Francis Young, DEA Administrative Law Judge, on scientific measures of drug safety, like the LD-50 (lethal dose which causes 50% fatalities) and Therapeutic Ratio (ratio of the effective dosage compared to possible lethality), for “therapeutically active substances” or “medicines” such as cannabis, is.

    Scheduling should not vague and arbitrary terms like “accepted medical use” or “high potential for abuse,” when the consequences of such nebulous, trivial definitions lead to horrible social problems and organized crime that subverts the rule of law and entire governements, those which have agreed to implement the disastrous public policy themselves, by coercion of UN treaties, and the like.

    The Human Rights Case for Drug Reform
    How Drug Criminalization Destroys Lives, Feeds Abuses, and Subverts the Rule of Law

    http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2014/essays/human-rights-case-for-drug-reform

  26. @Paul Pot,
    Im glad someone else appreciates the pathetic irony of legal cannibanking! It’s too legit for the big banks to touch!
    @Nick,
    This may come as a shock to you, but it’s perfectly legal to grow hemp, and to some personal degree, consume marijuana in Iran and North Korea.
    Iranian doctors published a treatment for multiple sclerosis to stimulate muscle growth by mixing hemp with crushed red chili peppers. Here in the U.S. The D.H.S. Patent on cannabinoids is prohibited from publication by the Controlled Substance Act. NIDA is paud to refute the medicinal properties the C.S.Act denies cannabis contains.
    In North Korea, the poor would have starved and marched to China long ago if they couldn’t grow hemp. It’s one of the few nutritive crops that actually grows on that frozen penninsula.
    Im afraid that when the subject is cannabis, it is the United States of America that portrays the “axis of evil.”

  27. OfWow. I thought I knew a great deal about politics but compared to all of you I know very little about politics. Too much stress and wasted energy/resources goes into politics for me to really give a hoot and I’m sorry for that. The only thing I know is marijuana should be legal just as much as it should be respected. I think tobacco should be illegal to mass produce for the sole purpose of monetary gain but not illegal to use/grow. It would cut back on abuse. This also goes for marijuana in my book. I NEVER liked the idea of the goverment profiting from the procedes oth

  28. Wow. I thought I knew a great deal about politics but compared to all of you I know very little about politics. Too much stress and wasted energy/resources goes into politics for me to really give a hoot and I’m sorry for that. The only thing I know is marijuana should be legal just as much as it should be respected. I think tobacco should be illegal to mass produce for the sole purpose of monetary gain but not illegal to use/grow. It would cut back on abuse. This also goes for marijuana in my book. I NEVER liked the idea of the goverment profiting from the procedes otherwise we would’nt be in this predicament. We the people hand over so much control.Think about it. One little threat led to one little push (figuratively speaking) which led to another which led to another which led led to another etc. etc. which led to us believing we have no control.

  29. @jimmy
    I agree that the CSA is a detriment to its claimed purpose, and personally given the fact that it is the brainchild of Nixon, only serves as proof of its corrupt intent and a good reason to throw it in the trash. As for me, and many others, suggesting rescheduling cannabis on the CSA is a way of working within the system. Telling congress they suck and they should change will never work. The system is all we have and like it or not we must work within it. Believe me when I say that if a Louisville Slugger would get the job done, we would already be done with this, as many would agree with, but it won’t. Nor will fighting on a single front bring us swift justice. We’re already at the edges of being jailed, and thats where we belong. We can approach this on many fronts and keep eating away at it until we win. We’re going to win this fight, and we’ll win big. For me it won’t be over until it all has changed. I’m not going to stop just because they let me have a little freedom, I’m going to fight until my body refuses to get up. Rescheduling Cannabis, Rewriting the CSA, Dismantling the ONDCP or any other corrupt government intity that gets in the way of this fight, will be where we should all be. It shouldn’t be argued that one direction of effort over another has more value, but are there more avenues of effort to find. Finding tolerant solidarity among ourselves is a must my comrades.

  30. @jimmy
    I agree that the CSA is a detriment to its claimed purpose, and personally given the fact that it is the brainchild of Nixon, only serves as proof of its corrupt intent and a good reason to throw it in the trash. As for me, and many others, suggesting rescheduling cannabis on the CSA is a way of working within the system. Telling congress they suck and they should change will never work. The system is all we have and like it or not we must work within it. Believe me when I say that if a Louisville Slugger would get the job done, we would already be done with this, as many would agree with, but it won’t. Nor will fighting on a single front bring us swift justice. We’re already at the edges of being jailed, and thats where we belong. We can approach this on many fronts and keep eating away at it until we win. We’re going to win this fight, and we’ll win big. For me it won’t be over until it all has changed. I’m not going to stop just because they let me have a little freedom, I’m going to fight until my body refuses to get up. Rescheduling Cannabis, Rewriting the CSA, Dismantling the ONDCP or any other corrupt government intity that gets in the way of this fight, will be where we should all be. It shouldn’t be argued that one direction of effort over another has more value, but are there more avenues of effort to find. Finding tolerant solidarity among ourselves is a must my comrades.
    I’ve read the article before that you posted,…very good read,…worth the time
    http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2014/essays/human-rights-case-for-drug-reform

  31. We as a global society have been able to drive to extinction many, MANY, plant and animal species. But after 30+ years all we have done with cannabis is make it more potent.

    On the other hand we have destroyed and poisoned more lives and families by Federal Enforcement on both sides of the law.

    Harry Anslinger was a self promoting asshole who abused his position in government for his own selfish goals. Even IF his intentions were good, the test is not legalization in Colorado, the test was prohibition of the Global economy.

    Well I say the test was a failure.

    Buy hemp products made in the USA and support this crop. Get Rachel Ray to use hemp oil in her recipes. Be compassionate for people with PTSD, cancer, aids, Dravet Syndrome.

    Vote only for politicians who are pro-legalization, pro-hemp. Your voice will be heard loud and clear.

  32. @jimmy, thanx for bringing up $igarettes, remind everyone of the US economic cost $289-bil./year, at least $130-bil. of which is being EARNED by Big pHARMa, doctors, surgeons, hospitals etc. “caring for” “smoking”-related disease, so they have a Conflict of Interest incentive to AVOID helping promote PREVENTION of the addiction.

    Third Rail: no one dares suggest cannabis literacy for young children could immunize them against developing a $igarette addiction (200,000,000 deaths since 1853).

    SUBSTITUTE

    (a) cannabis– and alfalfa, basil, coriander, damiana, eucalyptus etc.– for tobacco;

    (b) 25-mg Long-Drawtube One-Hitters, Vaporizers etc. for the rolled-paper 700-mg H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide $igarette “$moking” format.

  33. Has anyone involved in this new industry given any thought to bit coin? It solves both the security problem and the banker problem…

    There is also the possibility of banking offshore. If American bankers are too scared to make a profit, screw ’em and take your money elsewhere.

    Another option is forming your own local credit union that specializes in pot.

  34. This is probably about like the problems which face the pot shops in the Netherlands.

    Both in CO and NL the pot shops are not legal.

  35. I read a study that concluded that lifetime medical costs of a smoker and non-smoker are on average the same. So the health care industry is not making money off of smokers. The average smoker dies sooner but their lifetime medical costs are generally no greater than non-smokers.

  36. cancer and copd are highly lucrative. Nixon started the war on cancer (lolol) around the same time as the war on drugs (lolol), about the same time that he privatized health care with HMO’s.

    end-of-life treatments, heroic measures, are the usual course of therapy, instead of prevention.

    the lifetime medical costs of tobacco users vs non-users, I don’t think is even similar, the one characteristic that will determine if you can even get whole life insurance is the question “tobacco user or not?”

    there was never an intention to blame people for their addiction to tobacco, nor any claim that they ‘deserve’ their illnesses as some state. Banning tobacco would be just another stupid prohibition that people would ignore and then kill each other over while the Ponzi-er’s at the top reap the wealth.

    Shouldn’t tobacco at least be scheduled into one of the fraudulent scheduling categories, for the sake of consistency? For the sake of appearances?

    That’s right, scheduling tobacco at all, would show that it is schedule 1.

    Cannabis cannot even be scheduled, according to DEA law judge Francis Young, because the LD-50 and TR are astronomically large as to be incalculable. Then you have tobacco which is not the same as “nicotine” the addictive component. Nicotine, about 1 milligram, will kill any infant human if ingested or absorbed from say a lozenge or gum or patch.

    Whereas lethal toxicity from cannabis is an impossibility unless one can consume 20,000 NIDA joints in less that 30 minutes. We’re all waiting for some Darwin Award candidate to come close, barring the notion that this is a physically impossible feat that is impossible to achieve, more likely death by cannabis would be caused by the equivalent weight or 20,000 NIDA swag joints falling several stories onto a person, causing them to die.

  37. The study cited by @craig seems to indicate the smoker spends the same amount of money as the non-smoker but takes fewer years to do it. Someone please track down how that lines up with the Surgeon General estimate: $289-bil/yr total “smoking” cost, of which $130-bil medical.

    Agree with @jimmy, banning is stupid, a better idea is I think to downsize the DOSAGE level everyone is taught to think “normal”
    from 700-mg-per-lightup $igarette to 25-mg single toke, VAPED in a long-drawtube one-hitter.

    One Hit Head Shops should carry 1/4-inch o.d. and 3/8-inch o.d. flexible plastic tube ((like food grade p.v.c., don’t worry about fumes you are vaping not burning.) or “hookah hose without hookah”. You attach 20″ of this either into or over the butt-end of your one-hitter.

    A 25-mg vape toke now and then even of nicotine tobacco is under the danger level for addiction.

    Thus tobacco/nicotine itself is NOT bad enough to merit Schedule 1, eliminating the H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide $igarette format will solve the problem without need for guards and legalisms.

    Getting rid of the 500-mg H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide “joint” alias giant and substituting 25-mg tokes will do the same for cannabis.

    Instead of yearning for the Big Money Soon marketing the cannabis which others are competing to do, with all this bank uncertainty, how about first starting up a One Hit Head Shop Co-op, making dozens and hundreds of devices like those in Part 1, Socket Wrench One-Hitter, and Part 2, Barbed Hose Nipple One Hitter of wikiHow.com/”Make Pipes from Everyday Objects.”

    If you know a different, better way to make Long-Drawtube One-Hitters, sign in with user name, edit, rewrite, add instructions, add pictures, diagrams etc.

    That wikiHow.com article can be built up into the training manual used by artisans who work in your co-op. Someone in Hong Kong, Brisbane or Tierra del Fuego can see your comment, blog or co-op advertisement, read the wikiHow article, fly to your town and work at your shop for some weeks, hands-on pro-bono labor practice and production, then return with a cargotainer of materials and stock to start up the first biz in his/her root country.

    Once the “$igarette” paper drug cocktail of heat shock, carbon monoxide and 4221 combustion toxins is out of use worldwide and every child is ONE-HITTER LITERATE, neither tobacco nor cannabis nor alfalfa, nor basil, nor coriander, nor damiana nor eucalyptus will be feared, demonized or disease-causing.

    Help get this worldwide one-hitter reform through in a year or two, then you’ll probably be able to sell herb in the store legally.

  38. “mere disapproval or bias, not on real medical science. Cigarettes have high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Yet those aren’t scheduled at all? How can the scheduling system be considered credible at all?”
    It isn’t and that is my point. In order to apply Schedule One to marijuana, officials have to lie. And they have to lie over and over. If you use lies to convict people, the convictions are not valid!!!!!!!!!! The Scheduling system is scientific and then per say exceptions have been applied to it. The literally said, “we’ll just pretend marijuana is tobacco and regulate it thus.” The CSA does apply to tobacco and it doesn’t apply to marijuana. They did this “not-so-slight-of-hand” because a lot of Republicans happen to own a lot of Tobacco Fields. They could simply plant _Cannabis_ instead, but that doesn’t kill people by the thousands. Where is their satisfaction in that?

  39. The gov. Is stalling so they shops get robbed. Then the gov. Will do the same propaganda on look how bad it is. I’m sick of it.

  40. Seems like government authority that is used to further private interests, such as the intentional exclusion of tobacco from scrutiny, for the sake of health, is corruption. @Dave’s comment about the absurd arbitrary and inconsistent misdeed of letting tobacco avoid scheduling further clarifies the capricious, inconsistent use of the “scheduling system” of the DOJ.

    They cherry pick the substances called “controlled substances” and classify them willy-nilly.

    Nixon intended as two steps to achieving his CSA goal,

    1) scheduling of hemp and medical cannabis in the worst category, I, to remove it from industrial competition.

    2) to put heroin there too, so that both morphine and heroin are grouped like hemp and medical-cannabis, to create a new lucrative black market for any person to make money selling drugs

    The point of these two steps was to intentially reproduce the underground economy expected to develop (they knew after Temperance Prohibition that it is cause-effect). Underground economies where the amount exchanged are not, cannot be known, and these help further obfuscate economic data which would more easily expose shady banking deals and bank money creation.

    The CIA has run its own drug sales operations, and also have admitted it. After the Chief claimed an investigation would ensue, to expose those responsible, itnever happened. Wut a surprise.

    How come the Food and Drug Administration is not the over-seer of the schedules, but the DEA??

    The FDA approves pharma drugs for cash money which it charges as minimum costs to review potential new pharma chemicals. Yet they have no authority greater than the DEA to consider the actually risks and benefits of drugs, of all kinds, whether plant-based, mineral based, or petro-chemically synthesized.

    I know this is one of those questions repeatedly asked, to no avail.

    The DEA a part of the executive, the dept of Justice that deals with (a sadistically brutal style of) execution of laws. They’re supposed to enforce the laws not make the laws or interpret them, yet the DEA has more authority over the shedule system itself, what appears in what category. If this is not the case then why has the greatest appeal for change in federal drug laws come from it’s own Administrative Law Judge, Hon. F. Young?

    Er…do people see doctors or cops when they are sick?

    Pharmacology, even basic biology, is not their domain of authority or knowledge. Cops enforce the laws. Courts interpret the laws based on precedence. Federal agencies regulate commercial laws, like the FDA, USDA, FHA, FTC, regarding food, drugs and the like.

    Since when are local cops, pharmacologists? They’re not, and the same comparison can be made with federal cops. They are not pharmacologists

  41. In order to make better sense of what dept or agency is in charge of what responsibility and its relevance to their charge, their duties.

    The scheduling system is not scientific, it is controlled by the DEA and CSA agencies. NIDA should not be considered scientific, by the way, at least not seriously.

    Any with the express intent of suppressing research in any form, are the antithesis of science themselves, and intellectual integrity.

    We must follow the truth no matter where it leads or how difficult some discoveries may be or how hard it can be to let go of views that become commonly accepted, even cemented in the brain, as repetitively reaffirmed statements

    Without treating suppression of scientific research as a crime, as it should be due to its seriousness, people will be duped not by scientists, but charlatans or magicians who control privileged, secret information, or pull of the equivalent, which is to suppress research. In any way.

    There would be no jail time, but consequences are necessary considering NIDA suppresses research, openly and legally.

    When only one person understands [some event], it’s magic, and its power is in secrecy.

    When everyone can understand, through explanation, it’s science and its power(s) lie in built-in self-scrutiny and peer review, human creative potentials and universal sharing of our data for the benefit of all.

    People who try to prevent research are the ethical bottom of the barrel, anyone who has a rudimentary understanding of grade school science knows this.

    NIDA shame. tsk tsk

  42. Conceptualizing the Shedule System

    minimal outline:

    Schedule 1
    Schedule 2
    Schedule 3
    Schedule 4…

    As an outline for pharmacologists:

    Schedule 1 ^ increasing potential harm
    Schedule 2 | in physical terms sufficient
    Schedule 3 | to warrant safety conditions
    Schedule 4 | $$ = duty to serve ethically

    (That’s supposed to be an arrow pointing up, increasing.)

    As an outline for cops and CSA workers:

    Schedule 1 ^ increasing SEVERITY of
    Schedule 2 | PUNISHMENTS, imprisonment,
    Schedule 3 | forfeiture, stigmatization,
    Schedule 4 | $$ = medals, evidence rewards”

    As an outline for drug dealers:

    Schedule 1 ^ skyrocketing prices in
    Schedule 2 | proportion to how harshly
    Schedule 3 | punished CSA rules are
    Schedule 4 | $$ = $$

    As an outline for international bankers

    Schedule 1 ^ skyrocketing prices in
    Schedule 2 | proportion to how harshly
    Schedule 3 | punished CSA rules are
    Schedule 4 | $$ = $$

    When the DEA’s scheduling system is only a graded system of how harsh their arbitrary punishments are, translated into more prisoners, more human rights violations, forfeiture of personal property.

    That is their model, for police people.

    The model for real pharmacologists is different.

  43. @Dave, Please don’t get confused about the Tobackgo Republicans. Their satisfaction is not in millions of deaths (“collateral damage” but purely in the amount of MONEY they make. However I will grant it probably gives their ego a boost to see how many loyal bootlickin’ slave “customers” they control (1.2 bil. worldwide).

    Present-day hype aside, the reason they haven’t planted cannabis till now was they didn’t expect to make enough MONEY from it!

    If a DEA agent or a Republican changes her/his mind now and wants to join the cannabiz gold rush, don’t get vengeful, our slogan should be Forgive–> Convert–> Redeploy! Sometimes talented men and women, even habitually, have done vicious things; the talent was and is good, Redemptive Reuse is the remedy, someday you will be proud of what you helped persuade a narcotine bully to do with the rest of their life.

  44. Look how our government schedules it as 1 claiming it was gate way drug to worse drugs. that can’t be if it highest, 1. Also weed doesn’t hurt anyone and if never locked people up for the world would not be any safer or any better. Although having federal government allow banks to take cannibus businesses is major step forward to also the federal government no longer going after state that legalize Cannibus it now sure thing federal government will state out of state who legalize weed. there not going to allow banks to give loans to cannibus business and then at same time go after those businesses. Colorado and Washintong you so lucky we still waiting here in PA for the laws to change we know there coming soon but not soon enough for me.

  45. Simply convert the cash to gold and you can convert hundreds of pounds of paper fiat money into a few pounds of gold. Easy to store and no criminal banks needed.
    It is also worth mentioning that inflation reduces the value of your dollar each day you dont spend it. Gold acts as a hedge against that drop in purchasing power.

  46. Jimmy and Mexweed,

    The schedule does not cause the police to act like assholes, this is their own choice as how to go about enforcing the schedules. For example, there is nothing forcing state law to follow the schedule as we can clearly see in states going ahead and regulating marijuana for medical use and for open sales.

    Yes, death is their goal. And no not everyone feels that way in the police, but they are taking order from people that want to see dieing in the streets. The Rebublicans (not Republicans) don’t want good health care, they do not want a good education system, they want war, they want to sell you cigarettes and transfats and Biphenol A, they want guns in the hands of gangsters. They don’t want to be regulated. They also want to ban abortions for all reasons. Which of these things doesn’t lead to sickness, death and victimization guys???

  47. @Dave

    Then why is their arrest rate one-third for weed in jurisdictions that have decriminalized, like NYC?

    Because ppl like nyc diesel?

    Or because selective prosecution is profitable?

    There is LEAP, or Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

    No one thinks that policy forces certain tyranny, just that it makes it arbitrary and so the result when most are HS graduates at the least, whose job performance depends on the number of arrests, not the sort of crimes those arrests made “helped” the people like removing violent and thieving offenders from their current activitites

  48. Don’t get me wrong, most police I’ve met who are veterans, are good people and they will tell you quietly they disagree with the current absolutist fraud.

    But that doesn’t stop the others who need employment, and so arrests, regardless of the type, to maintain their livelihoods.

  49. Err, because they are not following the law. New York has had marijuana decimalized for years and years. The police just invented stop and frisk to break law and arrest people for something that isn’t a criminal offense. Despite thousands of illegal arrests, not one case was stopped, not one officer was held accountable for their actions. What are you talking about?

    Every time it comes up for a vote, large numbers of cops come out and start talking shit about making good laws. Why???? Aren’t they supposed to be enforcing order, not disorder? They strongly desire the right to continue arrest and harming people that aren’t criminals. I don’t even see why they should be allowed guns when they walk around with this much hate.

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