Sen. Cory Booker says businesses that sell even medical marijuana can’t get bank accounts, issue payroll checks or get loans — even in states like New Jersey, which legalized medical marijuana in 2010. That’s because federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug — the same as heroin — and federal treasury officials might prosecute.
“You literally have people sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash because they can’t find places to bank. They’re paying their bills in cash. They’re paying their employees in cash. It’s just not a safe system,” Booker said.
“I’d like to make sure that we’re going through a transparent process that is legal. Versus the other process where, in fact, that money is flowing totally in cash because it is unbankable under existing banking laws,” Sen. Bob Menendez said.
New Jersey’s two Democratic senators spoke at a roundtable sponsored by NJ Spotlight at Capital Medical Center in Pennington.
Booker’s sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act, which would legalize weed and expunge criminal records for possession. A Menendez bill would establish marijuana banking protocols. He criticized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a staunch legal weed foe who once said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”