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State legislators across US ask Congress to legalize marijuana

In a joint statement, they said a directive they crafted was approved Wednesday by the National Conference of State Legislators at its annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Posted: Aug 1, 2018 11:19 AM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Lawmakers from Oregon say state legislators from across the nation are urging Congress to legalize marijuana.

In a joint statement, they said a directive they crafted was approved Wednesday by the National Conference of State Legislators at its annual meeting in Los Angeles. It calls on Congress to help legal cannabis businesses access banking services.

Oregon Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters said the cannabis industry is making big contributions to her state's economy, and giving it access to secure banking is critical to their success.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, so financial institutions are reluctant to provide it with banking services.

Oregon Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat, said operating as a cash-only business invites crime.

This policy directive will help guide NCSL's advocacy efforts in Washington.

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