California eyeing State-run bank for marijuana

The State of the Union address is over and as expected, the Left side of the aisle is saying everything good in this country right now is because of Obama and Trump is taking credit for his accomplishments.

Conversely, the Right is saying everything good happening in the country is because of Trump. It’s the typical partisan spin put out by both parties. Each goes to their own corner to defend their cause even if they might be wrong.

We have become so accustomed to the divisiveness that any bi-partisan agreement is labeled a sellout and any politician is worthy of a primary challenge if they are marked a sellout because they are not ideologically pure.

It’s the typical Red shirts versus Blue shirts game.

So when you’re the Republican candidate for California State Controller, and the California State Treasurer and Attorney General come out with an idea for a state-run bank for marijuana, I should immediately dismiss it because they are Democrats and I’m a Republican.

Well, not that I don’t have my concerns with a state-run bank, run by a state that can’t properly manage its own finances and the answer to every question is to raise more taxes.

Don’t get me wrong I’m no fan of the quasi-governmental private-public bank that controls monetary policies in the United States called, The Federal Reserve. This does not mean as a Federalist that this idea isn’t worth studying.

Background

According to the Sacramento Bee:

Because of the federal prohibition on marijuana, banks generally will not provide accounts to cannabis companies, forcing them to pay taxes and other expenses in cash. The resulting safety problems and accounting complications have been brought to the fore by the Jan. 1 start of legal recreational pot sales in California.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been on a crusade to stamp out state-legalized marijuana. Thus tensions between the states and the federal government over marijuana are at an all-time high; no pun intended.

Why it’s worth considering

I’m no fan of marijuana, but as a Federalist, the criminalization and regulation of marijuana on the federal level is not an enumerated power given to the federal government. This is a state’s power issue.

If you are okay with what Jeff Sessions is doing, then I’m assuming you were fine when the Obama Administration was working to force banks to dump gun stores.

Remember, you can’t have it both ways. You either want to limit centralized government, or you just want your team to control everything and do what you want.

If you liked the power Obama had then you should be fine with Trump wielding the same powers or vice versa.

If you don’t like the person wearing the other jersey having that much power because of their ability to abuse that power then it is time to reconsider how we do government from the federal government all the way to local government.

Are there concerns with a state-run bank

Yes, there are concerns, and in the same Sacramento Bee article they mentioned a few:

“The obstacles to creating a public financial institution are formidable, including the difficulty of getting deposit insurance, unknown start-up costs, investment likely to measure in the billions of dollars, and the probability of losses for several years or more that taxpayers would have to cover,” the report states.

“For a state that is already plagued with so many economic problems, despite its recent budget surplus, the idea of the state running its own bank should worry every person in California,” said Yaël Ossowski, the Deputy Director for the Consumer Choice Center in Washington, D.C.

There is also another proposal to work within the framework of existing state-chartered banks.

State Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, also is pursuing the idea of a state bank for cannabis businesses. Last week, he introduced a bill that would allow state-chartered banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to open checking and savings accounts and for marijuana businesses.

Principles over Party

So even though California politicians didn’t lift a finger to protect California gun shops from the Obama administration, we should be willing to consider any idea that limits the scope of the federal government’s reach.

You never know, this might just help protect our 2nd Amendment Rights during the next Democratic administration.

Even if the intentions of the State Treasure and State Attorney General are not to your liking, its okay. The point is, if you want to limit the power and scope of the federal government then we should take this opportunity to see how we can best do it.

This does not mean the resulting proposal will be good. I do have real concerns, but before we shut the door to even doing a study on this and discussing it, let’s see what the possibilities are and what we can learn.


Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at cacontroller.com, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.