We have a real window of opportunity for federal marijuana reform but only if we seize it now. There is, if I may use “Hill jargon” – HOPE for SAFE.
Last week, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the SAFE Banking Act, which would help ensure access and accountability in the cannabis industry while allowing small businesses the opportunity to avoid huge barriers and fees for things as simple as checking accounts.
Immediately after the hearing, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, released a joint statement of support for SAFE pending the addition of the bipartisan HOPE Act, which stands for Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungements.
Senators have been working on bipartisan negotiations to win marijuana policy reforms for more than a year, with legislation in the works to normalize legalization and expunge criminal records for minor offenses and THE VOTES ARE THERE.
We can win this, but Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has a track record of mobilizing against his own members who support the package and we need to make sure that we send an unmistakable message that it is the will of the people to couple both criminal justice with reforms that move us to legalization.
Together, we can create a safer environment for cannabis businesses, promote financial transparency, and honor the will of the people in states where cannabis has been legalized. By advocating for the passage of both the HOPE and SAFE Banking Acts, we can pave the way for a more inclusive and responsible industry as well as justice for those who have been harmed under prohibition.
P.S. We’re fighting everyday to defeat prohibitionists in Congress, but our average donation is just $13 and Geo Group, the largest private prison corporation in the US, has already spent almost a million dollars just to Republican candidates. Will you chip in $5 a month or more to support our cause? Together, we will better organize and win legalization.