Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bank of America and Wells Fargo Denying Service To Dispensaries

By David Downs
Tue, May 25, 2010 at 6:02 AM

Turning around seventy years of failed drug policy in America is like making an aircraft carrier do a U-Turn. It takes a while, even after the steering wheel is moved. So even though the Department of Justice has stated that it could care less about medical marijuana, the Treasury Department has been telling banks they could be prosecuted for serving dispensaries. Bloomberg is reporting on a letter sent from Congress to Treasury, wherein fifteen members of Congress ask Treasury to stop telling banks that. Turns out, Bank of America and San Francisco-centered Wells Fargo have been routinely denying banking services to dispensaries, ostensibly to protect themselves against federal prosecution.

Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts instructed Treasury to issue guidelines to America’s banks saying that the federal government won’t go after them for servicing medical marijuana enterprises in states where it is legal. “If states want to make it legal or not, it should be a state matter,” Frank said in a telephone interview. “It’s wrong for the banks to be told by Treasury they can’t service them the way they would service any other business.”

Even if Congress gets Treasury in line, the DEA's budget and mission hasn't changed, let alone the vestigal policies at the DOC, DOT, NIDA, ... you get the point. The fight goes on.

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