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Fox News Host Worries Democrats Would Get Millions In Donations If Marijuana Banking Bill Passes

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Fox News host Laura Ingraham voiced opposition to a bipartisan marijuana banking bill on Tuesday and argued that providing cannabis businesses with access to financial services would disproportionately benefit Democrats who would rake in legal “pot dollars” for campaign contributions.

The conservative figure said there were rumors that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) planned to allow a vote on the House-passed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would protect banks that service the cannabis industry from being penalized by federal regulators.

“Horrific idea that [President Trump] should reject,” she said. “Commercialization not popular with Republican base, terrible for our youth. Opening up banking to the pot industry will effectively legalize pot nationally.”

In terms of the issue’s popularity, Ingraham omitted the fact that 53 percent of Republicans support legalizing cannabis, according to a Gallup poll released last year.

Ingraham added that the banking legislation “will also free up millions of ‘legalized’ pot dollars to be donated to Dems who want to defeat Senate Republicans in 2020. Bad idea.”

This claim may make sense in theory, as Democrats are generally viewed as leaders on cannabis policy reform, but there’s also an argument to be made that if the Republican-controlled Senate sends the legislation to the president’s desk, they could also earn the favor of marijuana businesses.

It could also serve them electorally. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is an especially vulnerable target for Democrats looking to take control of the chamber, and as a chief cosponsor of the Senate version of the SAFE Banking Act, passing it could deliver him a much-needed win to take back to constituents.

Another Fox New host, Tucker Carlson, also expressed frustration over the banking legislation during a segment last week. His take on the reform bill was a bit more conspiratorial, however.

After observing the extent of bipartisanship that the bill enjoyed last month on the House floor—where it passed 321-103, with almost half of Republicans and all but one Democrat voting in favor of it—Carlson said the reason lawmakers approved it was because it would enrich certain individuals and also make people “dumb” enough to ignore congressional happenings.

“[W]hen you mismanage the country this badly, you want the people to be so out of it they don’t respond,” he said. “That is really true. They want you to be dumb.”

There have been some advocates who’ve criticized the timing of the banking vote, arguing that Congress should pass comprehensive reform before approving a bill that would strongly benefit large marijuana businesses. Even so, they still support the legislation on its own, and there’s growing bipartisan acceptance that denying these companies access to financial services impairs transparency and puts them at risk of being targets of crime because they’re operating on a largely cash-only basis.

Tucker Carlson Thinks Congress Approved Marijuana Banking To Make Americans ‘Dumb’

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based senior editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

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