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On cue: Bemoan the bankers’ snub of marijuana merchants

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on April 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm with 4 Comments »
April 30, 2012 6:41 pm

For wounded innocence, the medical marijuana industry brooks no rivals.

In this Seattle Times story, the people who run marijuana dispensaries complain that Washington financial institutions have grown leery of handling their money, reducing them to operating on cash. Banks = bad guys.

It seems the state’s banks are obsessing about a triviality, the fact that selling marijuana is, well, kind of against the law. Against federal law, state law, every law in sight. Seattle and Tacoma may not be interested in enforcing the law, but there’s those nasty feds. Maintaining accounts for pot merchants could get the Justice Department all riled up about a petty crime known as money-laundering.

A phrase from the immigration wars comes to mind: “What part of ‘illegal’ do you not understand?”

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. dardena says:

    Sounds like a whole lot of marijuana “businesses” however legitimate, are not collecting and paying the state sales tax on products they sale. That alone should be reason enough to prosecute them.

    I know the “grey MMJ” industry loves to portray itself as a loosely knit cooperative of caring drug pushers, growing pot for a few dollars and selling it under the guise of “medicine” for millions, but it too are subject to the laws of our state; and each dispensary needs to be targeted to account for the amount of this drug they sell into our communities.

    This should not be hard. The businesses are registered, the owners known. It should not be difficult for the state to setup a MMJ investigation protocol to determine how many users, how much product is bought and sold, how much profit each “cooperative” is gleaning from the citizens of this state.


  2. tacoman1 says:

    Patrick ,
    what you convieniently leave out , is that these providers have been provided federal tax id’s and local liscenses to operate.
    Most importantly you fail to mention or recognize a state wide initiative that passed with voter approval 14 years ago in 1998 authorizing medical marijuana.
    You mention money laundering , but it seems the industry is attempting to operate in the open as opposed to trying to hide there deposits from scrutiny.
    I understand you are against the voter approved initative , but lets not resort to extrem or missleading opinions..
    While i understand your industry is suffering and the murdoch style of journalism is in vogue some of us have fond memories of newspapers as a place for public good rather than partisanship.
    I liked the TNT when it was a afternoon paper.

  3. jamesv317 says:

    Federal law trumps state law, and you can vote all you want its still against the law. The real story should be if this is a “medication” why the state is taxing it presciption drugs are not taxed in washington state.

  4. dardena says:

    Jamesv317, That’s easy. MMJ is not prescribed as a controlled substance, it is “recommended” for use by one’s doctor.

    Much like a doctor telling you: “maybe a drink will help with your indigestion.”

    That is why the “medical marijuana” law in this state is such a sham… it does not hold physicians responsible for their “advice” to use a controlled substance. There is not a registry of everyone who is authorized for MMJ, nor does the law require renewals or follow up exams for those who can afford to drop several hundred bucks to “Dr. Drug” and get a MMJ chit.

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