House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to reporters following a meeting at the Capitol with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a COVID-19 relief bill, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
UPDATED 11:00 AM PT — Saturday, August 1, 2020
Nancy Pelosi has defended including cannabis deregulation in a proposal for the next coronavirus relief bill. The House speaker’s comments came after a reporter questioned the relevance of the measure to coronavirus relief efforts.
The Democrat lawmaker stood by the measure and argued it is not unrelated to the pandemic.
“Well, I don’t agree with you that cannabis is not related to this,” added Pelosi. “This is a therapy that has proven successful.”
The House bill currently includes a measure that would allow cannabis suppliers to work with federally backed financial institutions. However, this would violate current federal laws. Marijuana has been designated as a Schedule 1 drug, which prohibit banks and lenders from working with manufacturers and suppliers.
Analysts have suggested the measure is sign of Democrats including pot policies in the bill instead of focusing on alleviating the current crisis.
This came after a Republican backed proposal faced backlash over the inclusion of funding for a new FBI building, which critics claimed was extraneous to the pandemic.