Colorado rep requests banks cooperate with MMJ



Lately, Rep. Jared Polis has been spending some time in the public eye, frequently in the defense of medical marijuana in Colorado.

Jared Polis: Friend of MMJ.
  • Jared Polis: Friend of MMJ.

Most recently, it was his questioning of Attorney General Eric Holder regarding comments made by Denver DEA agent Jeffrey Sweetin.

Today, it's a letter that was sent to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, signed by Polis and 14 other legislators, saying, "dispensary operators are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain accounts with financial institutions, due to what a spokesman for Chase [Manhattan] Bank called, 'financial operational and compliance risk.'"

Accordingly, we respectfully request that your office issue formal written guidance for financial institutions assuring that Department priorities do not include targeting or pursuing institutions whose account holders are involved in a business ostensibly operating in compliance with a state medical marijuana law. Not only does this remedy a fundamental inequity, it also seems a wise use of the Department's limited resources.

Later, Polis said this to Westword:

They're saying the right things in Washington, but the challenge is to operationalize it in the field, so there are no raids against legal state businesses, and we stop this rhetoric about drug wars. This is a public health issue — a serious public-health issue. But reducing the abuse of drugs is very different from the treatment of medical marijuana under state law.

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