Blumenauer Briefs US House on Needs of Legal Marijuana Industry

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer requested an end to marijuana prohibition during the morning hour portion that preceded the House’s regularly scheduled legislative session.

“Mr. Speaker, advocates from the new emerging marijuana industry in Oregon are descending Capitol Hill at a very critical time for this fledgling industry,” Blumenauer said.

The advocates Blumenauer referenced are the 25 members of the Oregon Cannabis Association who are currently lobbying Capitol Hill to support federal policy reform for legal marijuana businesses.

Blumenauer elaborated on why the advocates chose to visit Washington, D.C. “They come at a time when the federal government has told the Drug Enforcement Agency to stop harassing medical providers after Congress clearly passed legislation to protect the industry, and more important, patients’ right to medicine.”

While Blumenauer addressed many issues integral to the survival of the legal marijuana industry, he also specifically addressed the industry’s need for federal banking reform. “Let legal marijuana businesses have bank accounts. Don’t force them to be all cash. Let them deduct their business expenses from their taxes, instead of penalizing them with grotesquely punitive levels of tax.”

Blumenauer closed his speech by acknowledging that the day will come when the federal government will agree to “tax and regulate [marijuana] at the federal level”; however, “in the meantime, the states will continue marching forward.”

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