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Feds: Attorneys Should Use Discretion When Prosecuting Cannabis-Related Banking Offenses

A banker hands a customer 100 dollar bills through a teller window.


Feds: Attorneys Should Use Discretion When Prosecuting Cannabis-Related Banking Offenses

A memo issued by the U.S. Department of Justice today directs U.S. attorneys to use their own discretion and focus on eight federal priorities when prosecuting charges based on banking and cannabis.

The memo, released by Deputy Attorney General James Cole, states that those engaged in financial and monetary transactions with the proceeds of a “specified unlawful activity,” including marijuana, are still at risk of prosecution; however, it directs the nation’s attorneys to focus their prosecutions of cannabis offenses to federal priorities such as ensuring cartels do not profit from cannabis revenue and preventing the transfer of cannabis across state lines.

“This memorandum is intended solely as a guide to the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial direction,” the memo states. “This memorandum does not alter in any way the department’s authority to enforce federal law, including federal laws relating to marijuana, regardless of state law.”

The memo restates the points of federal enforcement outlined in an Aug. 29 directive. It also echoes that directive’s guidance for states, which have or intend to legalize recreational cannabis or medical marijuana, to “implement clear, strong and effective regulatory enforcement systems in order to minimize the threat posed to federal enforcement priorities.”

“That guidance seeks to mitigate the public safety concerns created by high-volume cash-based businesses without access to banking and the financial system, while at the same time ensuring that criminal organizations, gangs and drug cartels do not have access to the financial system to launder criminal proceeds,” Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh said through a release. “The Colorado U.S. attorney’s office will follow this guidance. In addition, the Department of Treasury today is issuing a guidance memo to the banking industry on this subject.”

Read the full memo here.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dylan Davis

    February 17, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Marijuana needs to be legalized due to many reasons listed here..
    (1) it solves and helps out with a lot of health issues like cancer, epilepsy, PTSD, and eating disorders, and anger disorders
    (2) it is and has been proven that marijuana is not harmful in anyway at all, it is not a drug like alcohol or pills or anything dangerous like heavy drugs like heroine or crack
    (3) it is 100% natural and organic and was created in the brining of time when God and Mother Nature teamed up and created the world that we live in
    (4) it is not harmful to the ozone layers
    (5) it will lower the crime rate and create more jobs for our fellow Americans and immigrant workers
    (6) it has many different uses like for medical purposes like numbing the pain and slowing the heart rate to help out with surgeries and difficult wounds and or cuts, it can be turned into cheap clothing, paper for books and sometimes even helps someone who can’t cook very well to make their food better and tastes better
    (6) it will help save our planet and to eliminate the need of constantly destroying our forest and will help bring the animal population back up to where it’s supposed to be and oils in it can be used to provide healing properties and it will help bring an end to all the chaos and wars in different countries and in the process it will help reduce the number of human losses..
    So stop and think about what is more important saving our planet and improving the way of life and saving the people we love and care about, or continuing to be greedy and destructive and to continue letting our people die in pointless and endless wars and continue to let the chaos reign over all of us because of greedy peoples negligence and refusal to see the truth about how to solve our problems in the world
    (I stole this from a VERY smart girl on this website. I AM NOT taking credit for this. She deserves ALL the credit for this. I am just sharing the very true facts that she shared.)

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