District Judge R. Brooke Jackson dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday because federal law prohibits the drug. He said the U.S. Department of Justice has pointed out that Congress still deems marijuana dangerous, and that financial institutions that deal with money generated by the pot industry could be breaking the law. Jackson concluded that the marijuana banking situation is untenable, and he hopes it will soon be resolved by Congress. The credit union claimed that although marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the Federal Reserve as a quasi-government institution lacks the authority to keep marijuana banks out of the nation’s financial system. Mark Mason, an attorney for the credit union, argued in December that a pot bank would serve the government’s interest in keeping better tabs on the drug money. “They intend to take this money out of shadows and off of the street so that they can track it and trace it,” he argued. Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said Tuesday that Jackson’s ruling sends the message that Congress must act.
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