Sen. Grassley Says Congress Should Prioritize Scheduling Fentanyl-Related Substances Over Cannabis Banking

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) recently wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arguing the chamber should prioritize a measure to permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances under federal law over the SAFER Banking Act, which would normalize cannabis banking.

Full story after the jump.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said the chamber should prioritize a measure to permanently schedule fentanyl related substances under the Controlled Substances Act over the passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act Banking Act. 

In the letter, Grassley claims that the banking bill “could equip criminal actors with resources to expand their influence.” 

“For years, the law enforcement community has raised serious concerns that the SAFE Banking Act and its progeny are a boon for the very cartels that are pumping fentanyl into our streets. Despite its relation to Title 18, the legislation has largely bypassed the critical eyes of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the current text does little to resolve the Justice Department’s enforcement concerns.” — Grassley in the letter 

Grassley added that he is “disheartened” that Schumer intends to bring the cannabis banking bill “to the Senate floor with all due speed.”  

Instead of addressing the fentanyl crisis, Grassley said “the Senate appears to be turning its attention to legislation designed to ease the movement of marijuana money through the financial system, and provide access for Wall Street to invest billions of dollars into this industry.” 

The bipartisan SAFER Baking Act passed the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs late last month. The measure has received support from a bipartisan group of more than 20 attorneys general who sent their own letter to Congressional leadership urging lawmakers to approve the bill.   

In their letters, the AGs note “the lack of access to banking services creates both barriers to entry into the industry and instability for existing businesses” and the law “will enable the evolution of a banking system for legalized cannabis-related businesses that is both responsive and effective in meeting the demands of our economy.”    

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