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Treasury Dept. issues guidelines for banks to serve legal pot dealers

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U.S. regulators on Friday told banks they can allow marijuana dealers to open accounts, as states around the country begin to legalize the drug for medical and in some cases even recreational use.

Wary of being caught up in “drug money” crimes, banks had been reticent to have dealings with legal vendors of pot since the state of Colorado allowed its sale for recreational use in January.

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But the US Treasury spelled out how banks could have dealings with the vendors without being hit with money laundering or other charges.

Noting that 20 states so far have legalized some aspect of marijuana use despite federal laws against it, the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said banks could work with licensed marijuana growers, processors and vendors.

FinCEN put the onus on the banks to make sure the clients stick to the confines of their licenses and adhere to any restrictions on their business, including Federal rules limiting what states could permit in legalizing marijuana, such as banning distribution to minors.

And banks will still be required to file “suspicious activity reports” if the bank suspects its client is breaking the law.

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Licensed businesses involved in the pot trade in Colorado and other states have complained that banks and credit card vendors would not provide them services out of fear of legal trouble.

The new rules, FinCEN said, “promote greater financial transparency in the marijuana industry and mitigate the dangers associated with conducting an all-cash business.”

“Now that some states have elected to legalize and regulate the marijuana trade, FinCEN seeks to move from the shadows the historically covert financial operations of marijuana businesses,” said FinCEN director Jennifer Shasky Calvery.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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In extreme crises, conservatism can turn to fascism. Here’s how that might play out

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5 movie "Back to the Future," Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels in a time machine from the 1980s to the 1950s. When he tells people of the '50s he is from the '80s, he is met with skepticism.

1950s person: Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?

This article first appeared at Salon.com.Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.

1950s person: Ronald Reagan? The actor? [chuckles in disbelief] Then who's vice president? Jerry Lewis [comedian]?

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Who are the young people behind the Catalonia protest violence?

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The violent protests that have swept Catalonia over the jailing of nine separatist leaders have involved veteran anarchists and youthful troublemakers as well as outraged separatists, some of whom became radicalised only recently.

"I am 24, have a masters and a job and I never imagined myself setting fire to a barricade with my face masked," said one protester who gave her name only as Aida.

She has joined in protests every day since they erupted in the region after Spain's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to up to 13 years in jail for sedition over a failed 2017 independence bid.

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Body language expert dissects the power dynamic at play in the iconic Nancy Pelosi photo

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Last week, President Donald Trump met with Democrats at the White House to discuss the way both sides could work to fix the President's mistakes in Syria. Democrats left the White House saying that the President had another meltdown during the meeting, which prompted Trump to claim Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the one who had a meltdown. He then posted photos of Pelosi sitting quietly and another photo of Pelosi standing and pointing at him.

Body language expert Dr. Jack Brown posted the photo and gave his own analysis of what he believed was happening in the photo.

"When a person has little or no empathy — and/or when they're far from their emotional baseline, their ability to interpret how others will view an event becomes dramatically distorted," Brown explained Sunday. "Rarely has this behavioral axiom been better exemplified than last Wednesday at the White House."

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