Today, The Nevada Independent reported that Nevada attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt was the only attorney general from a state that has legalized recreational marijuana to not join a bipartisan attorneys general letter in support of a bill in Congress to allow banks to serve legal marijuana businesses without fear of prosecution.
As the Independent pointed out, Laxalt’s biggest donor, multi-billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, poured millions into a campaign against Question 2, the 2016 ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana, funding over 90 percent of the effort sink the measure. Laxalt opposed Question 2 in 2016, which voters approved by a nine-point margin, and his office ignored multiple requests for comment for the story.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“Apparently, Adam Laxalt’s commitment to protecting to states’ rights only applies to partisan conservative issues. There is absolutely no reason Laxalt shouldn’t join the rest of his colleagues whose states have legalized recreational marijuana at the will of the voters — except, of course, the fact that his benefactor Adelson practically bankrolled the effort to sink Nevada’s ballot measure. It’s clear that Laxalt’s loyalties lie with whoever can give the most money to his campaign, not with everyday Nevada voters.”
Currently, Nevada’s voter-approved marijuana businesses are forced to largely operate on a cash-only basis because of uncertainty around marijuana’s status under federal law. The SAFE Banking Act would create protections for banks that provide financial services to legal marijuana businesses.