A broad coalition of national and state policy groups sent a letter to United States Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) expressing their concerns with the SAFE Banking Act and thanking Senator Crapo for slowing down what seemed at first to be a rushed process to grant the marijuana industry access to the federal banking system.
“In light of the Surgeon General’s Advisory (on marijuana) and the marijuana vaping crisis, it would be irresponsible to change the law in ways that encourage increased investment in the marijuana industry without any guardrails for public health, particularly when no other legislation regulating the public health impact of marijuana is likely to pass” said the letter, signed by groups such as Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action (SAM Action), Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Heritage Action, Family Policy Alliance, and the Drug Free America Foundation.
“We want to thank Senator Crapo for slowing down the rush on this bill,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM Action and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “We know millions of dollars are being spent in an attempt to ram this bill through Congress and given the massive potentials for harm, the risks are too great. Senator Crapo should know that many groups are closely watching to ensure that public health considerations are the top priority for Congress. Given the potential health harms that could result from such wide-sweeping legislation, it is imperative this bill does not move forward.”
The SAFE Banking Act, labeled by public health groups as the VAPE Banking Act, would grant the marijuana industry access to banks and open the doors for billions of dollars in institutional investment from Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, alcohol conglomerates and Wall Street. At the moment, the nation is in the grips of an outbreak of a debilitating lung illness caused by marijuana vaping products. This marijuana-vaping related illness is responsible for at least 60 deaths, with numerous cases tied to the use of state-legal products. Passing such sweeping legislation as the SAFE Banking Act would greatly reward the marijuana industry and set the table for further harms.
Full list of signees:
Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action (SAM Action)
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee
Family Policy Alliance (National)
National District Attorneys Association
Major County Sheriff’s Association
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Faith and Freedom Coalition
Center on Addiction
NAACP Illinois State Conference
Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY)
National Drug & Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA)
American Principles Project
Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.
National Families in Action
Parent Movement 2.0
Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.
Americans Against Legalizing Marijuana
California Coalition Against Drugs
Communities Against Substance Abuse Foundation
Save Our Society from Drugs
Citizens for a Safe and Healthy Texas
Marijuana Victims Alliance
Cannabis Industry Victims Educating Litigators CIVEL
Take Back America Campaign
Parents Opposed to Pot
Partners in Safety
SafeLaunch Healthy Futures
Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance
Santee Solutions Coalition
Powerful Teachers and Parents
Washingtonians Against Legalizing Marijuana