The unofficial marijuana holiday 4/20 on Wednesday once again stirred up discussion among top lawmakers and officials in the U.S. about the drug's legal status.
While the support for the legalization of marijuana on the federal level comes mainly from the Democrats, President Joe Biden has not yet given an "update" on progress in fulfilling his decriminalization promise from the campaign trail.
Cannabis Banking Reform As Legislative Icebreaker
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the third-highest-ranking Senate Democrat, once again expressed her support for passing a bipartisan cannabis banking reform bill during a visit to a credit union on Wednesday, reported Marijuana Moment.
During a press event at a branch of the Salal Credit Union, Murray — the assistant Democratic Senate leader — said the broad legislative vehicle might be the "best opportunity" for marijuana banking reform to advance this session.
The senator added the America COMPETES Act "has a really good chance of passing and deals with a lot of really critical issues facing Americans today."
Perlmutter Urges Senators To Action On The Reform
With congressional leaders appointing key lawmakers to discuss the final form of a large-scale bill dealing with innovation and manufacturing in recent days, there's hope that it will be the vehicle to protect financial institutions that work with state-legal cannabis businesses.
On Tuesday, Perlmutter sent a letter to Senate leadership urging the chamber to take action on the reform.
He implored the sponsors of a wide-ranging marijuana legalization bill that’s being finalized by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH), to act, given that passing his Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act could also serve as a legislative “icebreaker” for broader reform.
Republicans Want To Save Banks
On the other hand, it seems the senators from across the aisle are more prone to helping banks.
"They (Republicans) want to do the banks' business," Senate Banking Committee Chair Brown said. "They want to do their bidding, but that's not exactly breaking news that Republicans want to help the banks."
Montana Sen. Steve Daines noted that cannabis …