Some cannabis advocates are so eager to see the SAFE Banking Act pass the Senate that they’re willing to go large—namely, in the form of a fake 51-foot joint. As Evan Sully reported for Bloomberg, the inflatable protest tool made its way to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, emblazoned with the message, “Congress, Pass the Joint.”
Beyond the delicious optics of a fat marijuana cigarette parading its way around the nation’s capital, the legislation in question would protect the cannabis industry from discriminatory business practices on behalf of banks. The SAFE Act would prevent financial institutions from labeling state legal marijuana-related transactions as unlawful activity.
It has seen unprecedented movement in Washington, compared to a passel of other legalization and decriminalization measures. The SAFE Act a.k.a. HR 1595 passed the House of Representatives last month with a vote of 321 to 103, and is now awaiting consideration from the Senate—admittedly a higher hurdle, given Republican reluctance to push forward pro-cannabis laws.
Currently, activists are awaiting Idaho Republican and Senate Banking Committee Chairperson Mike Crapo, who needs to schedule a vote for HR 1595 to ensure its further movement. Some think it’s likely that the bill will be attached to other legislation,