An amendment attached to a federal finance bill that would have provided the legal marijuana industry with banking protections was stifled on Thursday, June 21, by a U.S. Senate committee. The measure, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, would have shielded financial institutions and banks that open accounts for state-legal pot businesses from federal prosecution.
Given that Republican U.S. Senator Cory Gardner was among the document’s original signatories and is currently working with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, aka NORML, to prepare legislation on the subject, the reticence of GOP state reps and senators seems surprising. But while Republican state senator Tim Neville says he agrees with the letter’s ultimate goal, he doesn’t see the need for such a measure.