Alabama’s Poarch Creek Indians want to be able to operate casinos in Florida, but Governor Rick Scott is refusing to allow it. Scott is a man of unnerving principles, but the Poarch Creek Indians have an ace up their sleeve: the ability to grow and sell pot on their land.
This is a byproduct of a recent change in the law that allows all tribal lands to conduct marijuana business, even if the states they reside in still haven’t legalized it. If Florida wants to maintain their ban on marijuana, they’ll need to reach a gambling deal with the tribe.
The new customer base may prove a life-changing source of revenue for tribes around the country, and continue to fuel the fire of nationwide legalization efforts. With recent victories in Alaska and Washington D.C., the idea that marijuana will one day being legalized throughout the country is hardly a stretch of the imagination, but just how close are we to a federal legislation overhaul?
Two current house bills propose to decriminalize marijuana completely: one bill by Democrat of Colorado, Jared Polis, and another by Democratic representative of Oregon, Earl Blumenauer. These have slightly different approaches.
Jared Polis’ Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, removes marijuana from being a controlled substance, and takes the regulation duties out of the hands of the DEA and puts it with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Earl Blumenauer’s bill is named the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, which is a bit simpler and focuses more on the tax income benefits of legalization.
Both bills argue that the use of the plant is not only relatively harmless, but often beneficial: medical marijuana has been used to treat many kinds of pain and illness, and can greatly improve lives or even save them.
“As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done,” Blumenauer says, “it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”
Federal government is central to the success of the legalization and taxation of marijuana, as the banks will not get involved with illegal marijuana companies because they don’t want to challenge federal laws that prohibit drug money laundering.
You know it’s a problem when banks start talking about not wanting to hold the millions of dollars in profits that the marijuana industry has been enjoying. Let’s not even talk about the irony that banks have been caught laundering money to cartels and terrorist organizations for years. That’s for a whole ‘nother conversation.