United States Congress has declined to include cannabis banking in the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).
The NDAA is an annual congressional bill guiding policies and funding of federal military agencies.
Often, the NDAA is used to undermine the principles the United States was founded on. For example, the NDAA grants the president the power to kidnap Americans and indefinitely hold them without trial.
The NDAA not only spits in the face of the Bill of Rights, it completely undermines the signing of the Magna Carta.
So what did the annual large-scale military state bill have to do with cannabis banking?
Cannabis Banking Left out of NDAA
The NDAA has been around since the 1960s. It should be a standard act for funding and directing defence agencies. But, as mentioned, it’s morphed into a monster undermining the Western legal tradition.
But there’s always a silver lining. Some lawmakers were eager to attach cannabis banking proposals to the NDAA, just as they tack on pet projects to legislation that’s assumed to pass.
Some U.S. politicians have been trying to get the cannabis SAFE Plus banking act passed. This would give legal cannabis businesses access to credit, better tax forms, and other financial tools and services severely lacking in the U.S. cannabis industry.
An earlier version of the NDAA included language that sounded like the SAFE Banking Act.
However, in a floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized using the NDAA to include cannabis banking. He claimed it would make the financial system “more sympathetic to illegal drugs.”
McConnell must be unaware that twenty years defending the poppy fields in Afghanistan made the financial system “more sympathetic to illegal drugs.”
Democrats haven’t been any better. Democratic Senators Cory Booker and Sherrod Brown have been less enthusiastic about cannabis banking in the NDAA.
So What Now?
Booker and Brown want federal cannabis programs that include job training, legal aid, and literacy programs for drug war victims. As well as loans for small cannabis businesses and cannabis businesses owned by people from marginalized communities.
“They just want to take care of the banks, and that’s all they want,” Brown said of the Republicans.
But in typical fashion, Brown is undermining the people he claims to help. Americans running cannabis businesses in the legal states don’t need Washington D.C. holding their hands.
They need access to credit. They need to be able to make deductions on operating expenses.
But apparently, “Republicans and the banks are just trying to steamroll” cannabis banking legislation into the NDAA without addressing criminal justice reform.
In other words, if I can’t get cannabis social reforms, then you don’t get cannabis banking reforms.
The worst of the D.C. mentality is on display, and it doesn’t matter the team’s color.
For example, Senator Inhofe (R) said he’d vote against the NDAA if it contained cannabis banking. At the same time, Republican Nancy Mace supported cannabis banking.
Senator Murray (D) called on colleagues (Booker and Brown) to put their differences aside and make sure “our legal cannabis businesses can access credit.”
While the cannabis SAFE Banking Act does enjoy bipartisan support, there was a consensus they should not enact it through the NDAA.