In a leaked audio recording of US President Donald Trump, the world leader hinted at a possible solution to the banking issues for cannabis in the country, while also bashing the effects of the drug, a new report indicates.
“Cannabis, look, you’re talking about marijuana, right?” Trump said in a response from a conversation with Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman working alongside Trump’s associate and lawyer Rudy Giuliani. “You can’t do banking there?”
Parnas’ tape, including various comments from Trump, was publicly shared by his lawyer, according to CNN. The audio is reported as having taken place during a donor dinner held by the president in 2018. Parnas is being linked to the current impeachment inquiries held against Trump.
A report from Forbes indicates Parnas asked Trump about the issues of banking related to the emerging marijuana industry. Due to the federal illegality of the drug, the industry in the US has faced a roadblock when attempting to engage the banking industry and other established services.
Companies operating in the US do so in states where it has been legalized on the state level, allowing the business of marijuana to expand. However, companies must manage their operations in each state separately those in other states.
In the tape, while discussing the banking issue, Parnas affirms: “That’s the biggest problem, because none of the banks accept the money.”
“(It is) all working out. That whole thing is working out,” the president replied. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
The conversation also turned towards the actual impacts of marijuana use per the president’s views.
“In Colorado they have more accidents,” Trump said while discussing the drug with Parnas. “It does cause an IQ problem.”
A 2019 study in the journal Addiction indicated deaths related to traffic accidents increased for a period of time following the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state. The study noted there were 170 additional deaths in the six months following legalization. However, the effect did not last long, and according to the results, those numbers returned to normal a year after.
There have been conflicting results on the impact of marijuana legalization on impaired driving accident rates. According to a report from The Verge, there have been dueling studies showing both significant upticks in crashes and no real consequential changes.
Colorado legalized the recreational use of cannabis in 2012. Colorado Senator Cory Gardner has become an advocate of the industry from within the Republican party and has attempted to sway the president regarding the opening of the industry for businesses in the US.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.