State legislators to Congress: Let states regulate marijuana without interference

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State legislators from across the nation are urging Congress to allow states to regulate cannabis without federal interference, according to lawmakers from Oregon who crafted the decree.

The legislators also want Congress to help state-legal marijuana businesses access banking services.

In a joint statement, the Oregon state senators said a directive they crafted was approved Wednesday by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) at that group’s annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Oregon Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters said the cannabis industry is making big contributions to her state’s economy and giving MJ businesses access to secure banking is critical to their success moving forward.

Because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, many financial institutions are reluctant to provide the industry with banking services.

Oregon Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat, said operating as a cash-only business invites crime.

This policy directive – and a second one urging Congress to prohibit the current administration from using federal funds to enforce the Controlled Substances Act at the state level – will reportedly help guide NCSL’s advocacy efforts in Washington.

– Associated Press