Mar
10
2013

Hey! Enjoying that all-powerful federal state there, pot legalization supporters?

See, this is problem with liberal-libertarian “alliances:” God help the latter if the former disagree with them on something. Like, you know, pot legalization:

Colorado’s medical-marijuana dispensaries can sell the stuff just fine — and would-be vendors of the recreational variety hope to do the same once rules are put in place this year.

But there is little that those businesses can legally do with their cash other than put it in a safe or bury it. No bank, credit union or financial-services company can knowingly accept business accounts with any trace of a marijuana connection. If they do, it’s a federal crime.

Note the emphasis on “legal:” illegally there’s a bunch of stuff that businesses can do, starting with money laundering.  I will avoid belaboring the point that it is somewhat surreal to ban a business operating legally under state law from essential and elementary business transactions, but I will make two points:

  • If you are upset that the federal government is apparently capable and eager to interfere in a particular arena that should be strictly state business and arguably none of it its own, guess what: it does that everywhere else, too.
  • The US Supreme Court case you should be cursing at this point is Wickard v. Filburn.  In more ways than one.  Still love that “The Commerce Clause lets us do anything we dang well please” strategy, o ye recreational marijuana users? – Because, again, it’s not just restricted to pot policy.

Moe Lane

PS: As a reminder to pro-pot advocates… your options in political parties are actually these: you can vote for a Republican, which means that you’ll get at best someone who publicly despises pot use and will grumble like hell and grudgingly comply whenever it gets pointed out to him that the Tenth Amendment applies to state laws that he doesn’t like, too.  Or you can vote for a Democrat, which means that you’ll get at best someone who gives you a friendly wink about pot, then send in a SWAT team to no-knock your house, terrify your kids, and shoot your dog because they don’t give an [expletive deleted] about the Tenth Amendment and they think that camera-loving War on Some Drugs paramilitary actions make them look like tough guys.  Or you can vote for a Libertarian, which means that you’ll get a Democrat.

I submit to those reading this that they wish to reconsider which option is really the worst one.

10 Comments

  • Doc Holliday says:

    too confusing, I am going back to beer!

  • acat says:

    So .. a not-a-bank in Denver could, conceivably, perform many of the functions of a bank – clearing in-State checks the old fashioned way (by sending a PFY over to the issuing bank and receiving ca$h) and making loans (not SBA, of course, but home loans are or can be a decent business) and paying interest on deposits – and .. could the Federales do jack or squat to them?
    .
    Mew

    • acat says:

      No, I wouldn’t put *my* money in such a not-a-bank, but .. as you say .. there are those who likely would.
      .
      Mew

    • sicsemperstolidissimum says:

      I’d suggest that laws regulating banks probably already have if-you-do-this-you-are-a-bank definitions. I figure that there is probably a tightly defined network of rules between state laws, federal laws, and the regulations of the various institutions they operate under.

      It’d probably take a lawyer practicing in Colorado, with an appropriate specialty to say exactly what the thresholds are. Thing is, a lawyer would probably want money for figuring that all out, which leads to the above issue again. Not to mention if somebody in the federal government decided to hold a grudge.

      • acat says:

        I cite .. the bulk of Moe’s post, actually .. indicating that the Federal Government pretty much *must* hold a grudge on this issue.
        .
        I would point out, by the way, that both the Mafia and certain South American interests have lawyers… so it’s not like the pot industry trade group (no, I am not aware that such a thing exists) *can’t* buy a lawyer, and even maybe a very good one.
        .
        That doesn’t change that the Dems only play is to argue, with increasing incoherence, that somehow *they* support potheads, but must make law-and-order decisions…even when they’re not doing so.
        .
        As for banking laws, as one firearms manufacturer or another is producing a “just in this State” piece, it’s not clear that First Weed NotABank couldn’t skirt the Fed aspects by just working within Colorado.
        .
        Mew

    • Finrod says:

      Wonder how many pot businesses in CO and WA will rely on PayPal, which has skirted a lot of laws for a while now by being not-a-bank.

  • Freddie Sykes says:

    1. The Feds will swat you for selling raw milk.

    2. Even if the Feds were made to see reason – the laws would still be on the books to use to hammer those nails that got uppity – we could still face an invasion of UN peace keepers to enforce international treaties to which we are a party. My advice if that were to happen is hide your children as the Blue Helmet approach to sex education tends to be very hands on.

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