Pubdate: Thu, 22 Oct 2015
Source: Statesman Journal (Salem, OR)
Copyright: 2015 Statesman Journal
Author: Gordon Friedman


Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer addressed the U.S. House of 
Representatives on Wednesday about the legalization of marijuana in Oregon.

Blumenauer spoke in support of Oregon's marijuana businesses. He 
criticized the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement 
Administration for "harassing" medical marijuana facilities.

"It's the latest example of how far out of touch the federal 
government's agencies are with the reality on the ground  with the 
will of the majority of the American people who think that marijuana 
should be legal, and with the policies of the president himself," he said.

"President Obama has declared marijuana no more harmful than other 
perfectly legal substances like tobacco, which is in fact true, and 
that he had bigger fish to fry than fight against state legalization. 
Unfortunately, some parts of his federal government are still frying 
those fish."

A group of 25 Oregon cannabis business owners traveled to Washington, 
D.C., on Tuesday, and are meeting with lawmakers throughout the week 
to lobby in support of cannabis finance reform. Cannabis businesses 
have had trouble securing bank accounts and tax deducations because 
of federal rules.

Blumenauer along with Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have 
introduced or sponsored Congressional reform legislation. The bills 
are currently in committee.

"Stop interfering. Let legal marijuana businesses have bank accounts. 
Don't force them to be all cash," Blumenauer said.

"Let them deduct their business expenses from their taxes instead of 
penalizing them with grotesquely punitive levels of tax. Let the 
states continue in their efforts at reform. Let them treat it just 
like we do alcohol."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom