Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has been defending not only the will of Oregon voters who passed cannabis legalization with over 56% of the vote in 2014, but also the will of the strong majority of all Americans that now understand the failure of cannabis prohibition. Tired of wasting law enforcement resources and disproportionately arresting and jailing people of color, voters now realize that the time has come to legalize and regulate cannabis to better prioritize our resources while creating jobs and revenue. With polls like Gallup and Pew showing over 60% support for legalization, Senator Merkley is on the side of the people and on the right side of history.

Ahead of his recorded message to the attendees of the International Cannabis Business Conference this Friday, Senator Merkley spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com about his support for safe banking access for state-regulated cannabis businesses and how the Trump administration should be doing more on the issue:

Merkley: Rather than making it even harder for banks to serve these legal businesses, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions should respect the voters in states that have chosen to allow legal cannabis and end this unnecessary risk for communities across America.

StT: What else can be done by the federal government, or should further legalization come through state actions?

Merkley: Ultimately, the right move is to end federal prohibitions on cannabis, and I’ve sponsored legislation to take that step. It would help alleviate significant problems, not only with the prosecution of nonviolent cannabis crimes — which disproportionately hurts people of color — but also with lack of banking services for legally operating businesses. Let’s pass legislation to place cannabis legalization in the hands of states — exactly where it should be.

You should head over to SFGate.com to read the entire piece, sign up for Senator Merkley’s newsletter, and hear his message to the ICBC, which kicks off with a VIP reception on September 27th and a full conference agenda on Friday, September 28th. Get your ICBC Portland tickets today.