SAM Statement on Defeat of Banking Amendment in the Senate

Clubs and Organizations

June 22, 2018

Alexandria, VA -  June 21, 2018 the Senate Appropriations Committee voted down the Merkley amendment which would have allowed full banking access to the marijuana industry. Dr. Kevin Sabet, founder and president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana released the following statement in response:

"Last week, public health notched a decisive win against Big Marijuana when the House Appropriations Committee voted down the Joyce amendment. Today, public health scored another victory. Marijuana industry players have been bragging about working with powerhouse lobbying firms such as Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, and Schreck to grease the wheels on measures such as this.

"The proposed amendment is certainly a dangerous proposal as allowing banking access to the marijuana industry would have opened up direct access to Wall Street investment into the sales and marketing of pot candies, cookies, and ice creams. Instead, this action has successfully pushed back the creation of the next Big Tobacco.

"The industry paid a lot of money in an attempt to open the floodgates for investment, and the amendment was still defeated. Today, public health took on Big Pot--and public health won...again"

About SAM

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states. For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit