Utah Rep. Chris Stewart is 'lone man in the wilderness' opposing marijuana banking bill

Rep. Chris Stewart wants to limit the SAFE Banking Act to financial institutions that serve businesses in the medical marijuana, not recreational marijuana, industry.

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.


  • Edmunds Tucker St. George, UT
    June 25, 2019 8:22 p.m.

    Liberal on Zion. For current Marijuana science, see the 105 page fda letter and key into a search engine ''June 25, 2015 and Dept Health Human Services letter to Chuck Rosenberg Acting Administrator Drug Enforcement Administration U.S. Department of Justice.'' If your 30 year fbi father has proof of medical use? Don't hide it, get it to the fda. Please include dosage, reactions with other meds, efficacy with pregnant or nursing mothers, aldulteration, labeling, clinical trials, treatment, prevention, safety, children, reaction and cure. According to Wikipedia.org the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 seeks to control more than 116 drugs that it classifies as narcotic. These include: opium and its derivatives morphine, codeine and heroin, cannabis, coca and cocaine.

  • Liberal On Planet Zion SLC, UT
    June 18, 2019 11:51 a.m.

    Tucker -

    “There is no such thing as 'medical' marijuana, never before, and not now, anymore than there is medical manure. Narcotics are addictive, meaning you can't function, and without the narcotic, you'lll vomit, seize, sweat, headache, pain, blood pressure, damage the brain, and have no medical purpose.”

    Unfortunately, this a perfect example of low information and the attempt to spread flat out propaganda. First and foremost marijuana most certainly is not a narcotic. Therefore, the comparison is not only “off topic” but meaningless as well. Furthermore. Those that claim marijuana possesses zero medical benefits should obtain firsthand experience with any cancer patient, and report back their findings. My father had over a 30+ year career with the F.B.I. and he would be the first to tell anyone the numerous medical benefits of marijuana. You’re welcome.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    June 18, 2019 9:03 a.m.

    @Edmunds Tucker
    Many drugs with nasty side-effects are still medicine, we use codeine and other narcotics as medicine all the time, and "poop transplants" are a literal thing. Your definition of "medical" leaves out a lot of medicine.

    But yes, "buzzed" driving is DUI. Hence why it's not a new concern, and doesn't need to be treated as one.

  • Edmunds Tucker St. George, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:19 p.m.

    There is no such thing as 'medical' marijuana, never before, and not now, anymore than there is medical manure. Narcotics are addictive, meaning you can't function, and without the narcotic, you'lll vomit, seize, sweat, headache, pain, blood pressure, damage the brain, and have no medical purpose. For an exhaustive 105 page report Go on a search engine and enter JUne 25, 2015 and DHHS letter to Chuck Rosenberg Acting Administrator Drug Enforcement Administration U.S. Department of Justice for the latest and best information. Buzzed driving is DUI.

  • Not another naysayer Lehi, UT
    June 17, 2019 12:50 p.m.

    This is the right thing to do.

    Chris Stewart could not be doing a better job. I have been thoroughly impressed with his take on everything. He has won me over as a staunch supporter, for sure.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 17, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    Anyone know if Stewart is proposing a similar bill to stop Vape shops from selling to our children?!

    Come on Stewart this is really dumb. Please do something useful.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    June 17, 2019 8:58 a.m.

    "Why Utah Rep. Chris Stewart is the 'lone man in the wilderness' opposing marijuana banking bill"
    That's easy. Because he's putting anti-drug ideology ahead of good governance.

    @sgallen
    Thinking something is sinful is a personal choice. Ignoring the preventable harms that happen to those "sinners" because "hey, they're sinners" is bad governance.

    @Oh, please!
    We allow the legal sale of recreational alcohol, even though people have no right to drink and drive or operate heavy machinery. So it's not like we don't already have model legislation for how to handle the issue in every state of the union.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 7:42 a.m.

    “I guess I’m just willing to say a company that’s selling recreational marijuana to our youth and to others, I don’t really care if they have a threat of cash sitting in their basement, if they’re paying their employees in cash,” Stewart said. “I don’t want to make life easier for them. I want to make it more difficult … for them to continue with an enterprise that I think is very harmful to people.”

    So he is doing this out of spite.

    Stewart is a very poor representative of Utah and we should send him looking for a real job ASAP.

  • BlueInfidel Colorado Springs, CO
    June 17, 2019 6:27 a.m.

    *Impartial17

    Yeah, that "whole church and state thing."

    You know, that is a rather embarrassing confession on your part that you are stipulating to something that is not part of the Constitution. Separation of a Church and state "thing" did not come from a federal bench until Hugo Black brought it up in 1954 or so.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote about it, in personal correspondence, in years after he had retired from public service.

    The Constitution only says that there shall be no established State church.

    Look it up, for your own sake.

  • Oh, please! St. George, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:44 a.m.

    @unitedelectric

    And you have no right to allow people to be "high" in Utah when they are driving, piloting boats, using firearms and myriad of other activities which will endanger me and the lives of my family and loved associates. Get our of the way.

  • rexwhitmer , 00
    June 17, 2019 12:03 a.m.

    I find it hard o believe that Utahn's would be gullible as to believe that marijuana should be allowed as a recreational drug. In reality it's unfettered use will actually be quite harmful to those using it. What's even sadder is that it is, in spite all the comments otherwise, quite addictive! Tobacco was called harmless originally, and users bragged about it's use. Believe it or not, marijuana is actually worse! Nicotine is an addictive drug as is cannabis! Both have long lasting results to user health, and cannabis goes a step further, it harms your mental facilities! Having worked in a prison for many years, I've seen the results, and they aren't pretty! You can't show me a person who's uses cannabis and ask him or her to quit. Some will make an effort, but most will find all sorts of reasons not to. In spite of all the things people say it can cure, it cannot cure anything. What it does is makes you forget mentally. It is supposed to "Mellow" the user, and the user may feel it has, but it's a lie! The addiction causes the user to want more, and in many cases, most in fact, users will loose initiative, and any desire to succeed I anything!

  • cdj Delta, Ut
    June 16, 2019 11:58 p.m.

    I wonder about alcohol, it is also a pretty powerful drug, and probably more than marijuana. There are many lives ruined with alcohol and no one is focusing on it.

    If the state of utah wants to increase the tax base, allow marijuana and sell it at the liquor stores. It will generate some income along with the alcohol. To me there is not any difference between selling alcohol and marijuana. Go ahead and sell it and increase the taxes for the state..

  • cdj Delta, Ut
    June 16, 2019 10:58 p.m.

    As LDS we are taught that one of our brothers wanted to force all of us to do what is right so we can make it back to heaven. We fought against that. Any government official that is trying to tell us what to do is just like our big brother... Let us make our own decisions and let us have our own free agency...

  • CFN , 00
    June 16, 2019 9:41 p.m.

    Agree with tubuno's comments. We worry about the opiod crisis, why would we encourage the legalization of recreational marijuana? We do not hear enough of the side effects of this drug. One of the side effects of frequent use is the inability to distinguish red from green. Not only would we see an increase in people running traffic signals because they think they have a green light when it is really red, but also an increase in rear-end collisions due to the inability to distinguish red brake lights. That's not even covering the impairment driving issues! As a flight nurse I saw too many innocent children and adults killed by impaired drivers . We do not need big money pushing legal marijuana except for medical use and that needs further research.

  • unitedelectric PROVO, UT
    June 16, 2019 2:32 p.m.

    Utah, for all its window dressing about liberty and small government, just loves to play nanny. Get out of the way. You ave no right to tell somebody else how to live.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    June 16, 2019 12:40 p.m.

    1 Cor. 10:29 & D&C 134:4 reject the idea of using one's religious opinions to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others. We LDS may condemn recreational marijuana, but we are forbidden by scripture to interfere with others using it in a way that objectively harms no one else.

    We also have seen some banks tell gun stores that they won't process credit cards if they sell "assault weapons". Do we really want to emulate that tactic of weaponizing infrastructure to punish our enemies?

  • Liberal On Planet Zion SLC, UT
    June 16, 2019 11:57 a.m.

    Stewart‘s stance on reality, factual information and recreational marijuana is an assault against my “religious liberties”. Problem solved now! Don’t pull a Clinton and forget to inhale!

  • kreese Ivins, UT
    June 16, 2019 10:52 a.m.

    Marijuana is not a harmless drug, particularly to young brains. Try teaching these young pot users just one time. America is making a huge mistake legalizing pot.

  • jpjazz Sandy, UT
    June 16, 2019 10:49 a.m.

    Encourage FDA to approve it as a prescription drug.

  • Taterhead West Jordan, UT
    June 15, 2019 7:07 p.m.

    @1covey- “Allowing criminal drug lords a degree of respectability by giving them legal access to banks is very dangerous along with the giving them access to banks.”
    The state of Utah is the supplier. That makes Governor Herbert the drug lord you’re so concerned about.

  • Be Practical Sandy, UT
    June 15, 2019 4:58 p.m.

    Seems to me that if a business is legally operating in a state is should be able to legally bank in that state. Otherwise, as we've seen, it creates a cash only system that's ripe for robbery and other criminal activity.

  • Daedalus, Stephen Arvada, CO
    June 15, 2019 3:42 p.m.

    @Utah Engineer: "Cute metaphor, but Utahns didn't vote for recreational MJ, it was for medical use only."

    But Stewart's position mistakenly presumes that medical marijuana cultivation and sale is magically immune from the organized-crime boogie-man he imputes onto recreational marijuana. It is not.

    Pulling both medical & recreational cultivation into the scrutiny and anti-money laundering regulations that is already built into America's banking system is among the best ways to inhibit big-bad-scary "cartels" or other real and imagined bad actors from getting into the industry.

    If Utahns do not like the legalization of marijuana growth & consumption -- for any reason -- then work to overturn the laws you just passed. But for purposes of the banking question, potential for bad actors, and the problems faced by industry in remaining all-cash, medical versus recreational is a distinction without a difference.

    Stewart is confusing the issue, intentionally or as the result of his own lack of sophistication and knowledge.

  • UtahEngineer Sandy, UT
    June 15, 2019 2:49 p.m.

    Daedalus, Stephen - Arvada,

    "Lone man in the wilderness?

    More like a kid camping in the backyard,..."

    Cute metaphor, but Utahns didn't vote for recreational MJ, it was for medical use only.

    The Utah Legislature should have voted for a minimized access process that didn't include Utah grown MJ. The relatively small percentage of Utahns really needing MJ should have all planned on accessing it from neighboring states, with GOOJF cards signed by doctors. [That's get out of jail free; GOOJF]

  • Latter-daySaintForever St. George, UT
    June 15, 2019 2:04 p.m.

    Rep. Chris Stewart is exactly right and I for one applaud his efforts. Good job Chris!!

  • jpc53 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 15, 2019 1:49 p.m.

    sgallen - Salt Lake City

    "When you believe that marijuana is sinful, of course you’ll work to oppose it. Stewart rightfully is standing up for his religious morals and if we value religious freedom we should applaud him for being transparent. His loyalties lie with his prophet and his God, who have told of of the sins of drugs, and I support what he’s doing". Then why isn't he opposed to medical Marijuana?

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 15, 2019 1:24 p.m.

    @sgallen - Salt Lake City, UT
    June 15, 2019 9:39 a.m.
    When you believe that marijuana is sinful, of course you’ll work to oppose it. Stewart rightfully is standing up for his religious morals and if we value religious freedom we should applaud him for being transparent. His loyalties lie with his prophet and his God, who have told of of the sins of drugs, and I support what he’s doing."

    He was elected Congressman, not Stake Prez. You're heard of that whole "Separation of Church and State" thing. Right?

  • Daedalus, Stephen Arvada, CO
    June 15, 2019 1:13 p.m.

    Headline: "Why Utah Rep. Chris Stewart is the 'lone man in the wilderness' opposing marijuana banking bill"

    Lone man in the wilderness?

    More like a kid camping in the backyard, spooked by the smallest snap of a twig and scary stories told by flashlight.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 15, 2019 10:49 a.m.

    @sgallen - Salt Lake City, UT
    June 15, 2019 9:39 a.m.
    When you believe that marijuana is sinful, of course you’ll work to oppose it. Stewart rightfully is standing up for his religious morals and if we value religious freedom we should applaud him for being transparent. His loyalties lie with his prophet and his God, who have told of of the sins of drugs, and I support what he’s doing."

    He was elected Congressman, not Stake Prez. You're heard of that whole "Separation of Church and State" thing. Right?

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    June 15, 2019 10:29 a.m.

    There is a big public health question regarding the recreational use of today's more potent and mostly untested marijuana. The public benefit of medical marijuana is obvious, but the big money profits for businesses and large tax revenue that will likely benefit state governments begin to raise huge concerns. Will allowing banks to enter into lawful exchanges when it comes to recreational marijuana ultimately allow powerful commercial and financial interests to make decisions based solely on money and ignore the human cost that recreational marijuana could inflict on the future generations of young and old? Perhaps, it is time to pause and slow the movement towards the lawful transactions of ALL forms of marijuana until we have more scientific information about what our Country might be getting into.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 15, 2019 10:05 a.m.

    "When you believe that marijuana is sinful, of course you’ll work to oppose it. Stewart rightfully is standing up for his religious morals and if we value religious freedom..."

    What scripture says marijuana is "sinful"?

    More importantly, what gives religious people the right to impose our beliefs (on which we can't even agree) on others by force of law?

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 15, 2019 9:44 a.m.

    "Hutterite - American Fork, UT
    June 15, 2019 9:32 a.m.
    "Allowing criminal drug lords a degree of respectability by giving them legal access to banks is very dangerous..."
    Criminal drug lords? How about large corporations, which is what tends to own and operate legal marijuana operations. Mind you, there are a lot of large corporations that operate like criminal enterprises, aren't there?"

    Exactly. Using Stewart's philosophy, he'll soon be introducing legislation criminalizing Pharmacies, distributors and drug manufacturers, that make and sell heroin based opiods using the US banking system, right? Anything less would be hypocritical.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    June 15, 2019 9:39 a.m.

    When you believe that marijuana is sinful, of course you’ll work to oppose it. Stewart rightfully is standing up for his religious morals and if we value religious freedom we should applaud him for being transparent. His loyalties lie with his prophet and his God, who have told of of the sins of drugs, and I support what he’s doing.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 15, 2019 9:32 a.m.

    "Allowing criminal drug lords a degree of respectability by giving them legal access to banks is very dangerous..."
    Criminal drug lords? How about large corporations, which is what tends to own and operate legal marijuana operations. Mind you, there are a lot of large corporations that operate like criminal enterprises, aren't there?
    Stewart is just dancing around the edge trying to do what his ilk always do, impose his uptight reality on others by claiming to act in the interests of safety, 'the children', security, or some such excuse.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 15, 2019 8:47 a.m.

    "“I guess I’m just willing to say a company that’s selling recreational marijuana to our youth and to others, I don’t really care if they have a threat of cash sitting in their basement, if they’re paying their employees in cash,” Stewart said."

    There. Stewart is opposed to legal MMJ. So he lies and lets his bias interfere with other states rights, the free market and the people's will. Legal weed sellers do not sell to "our youth". That dog whistle works in Utah, where most put emotions over facts. His opinion doesn't fly in other states or the US Congress. Stewart seems to be in the news every week. And not for good things. He's becoming the new Utah Jason Chaffetz. Any publicity or camera time is good, no matter for what wrongheaded idea. Utah deserves better and if Stewart's district wasn't one of the most heavily gerrymandered in the nation, he'd be gone.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    June 15, 2019 8:26 a.m.

    The growing acceptance of recreational marijuana in this country bodes no good. Allowing criminal drug lords a degree of respectability by giving them legal access to banks is very dangerous along with the giving them access to banks.