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Legal marijuana sale faces challenges by banks in Uruguay

Legal marijuana sale faces challenges by banks in Uruguay

The legal sale of marijuana in Uruguayan pharmacies is facing challenges as banks refuse to deal with companies linked to the drug in order to follow international financial laws. A government official said Friday that Uruguayan banks risk running afoul of laws that ban receiving money tied to the drug. The official was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. In July, marijuana went up for sale at 16 pharmacies as part of a 2013 law that made Uruguay first to legalize a pot market covering the entire chain from plants to purchase. But one pharmacy in the capital, Montevideo, has decided not to sell it after a warning by a local branch of Spanish bank Santander. The bank said it has opted to remain out of this line of business. State-owned Banco Republica, Uruguay’s largest bank, also told pot-selling pharmacies that it must close their accounts. Some U.S. marijuana retailers in states that have legalized sales have encountered similar banking difficulties as the drug remains illegal on a federal level. Diego Olivera, secretary-general of Uruguay’s National Drugs Council, said authorities are meeting with the pharmacies to find out how many have been warned by banks. He added that officials are looking at possible solutions, but did not give details. “Without doubt, in these processes of changing paradigms, they run up against moments of difficulty,” Olivera said. “We are working on alternatives.” Sen. Jose Mujica, who was president when legalization passed in 2013, has threatened “gridlock” in parliament if authorities fail to resolve the problem for what was one the signature policy initiatives of his administration. Pharmacy lawyer Pablo Duran told Carve radio that the pharmacies selling marijuana operate within the law in “an activity that is completely regulated, licit … and controlled.” Running a business without being able to bank is tough in Uruguay. Among other things, the law prohibits cash or check payments for employees and requires that salaries be paid by direct deposit.
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Session: Sanctuary cities allow cover for violent gangs

Sessions applauded Miami-Dade’s decision to comply with Trump’s immigration orders by ordering county officials earlier this year to hold people in jail for extra time if immigration authorities requested them. Gimenez distanced himself from Trump hours before the event, which drew no other elected officials and a condemnation from a county commissioner who called the attorney general’s visit “offensive”. Despite Sessions’ praise of Miami-Dade County, earlier in the day the mayor joined other R…
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Law firm serving Navajo Nation closes 3 offices

A law firm that for years has provided free legal services to low-income people in the Southwest and won groundbreaking cases for Native Americans is closing three of its nine offices. The firm called DNA is closing New Mexico offices in Crownpoint and Shiprock, and a Utah office in Monument Valley, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported (http://bit.ly/2whxJ0l ). Santa Fe attorney Richard Hughes, who once worked for the firm, called the loss of the offices huge because DNA has “provided Native peopl…
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Charlottesville mayor calls for swift removal of Lee statue

The mayor of Charlottesville on Friday called for an emergency meeting of state lawmakers to confirm the city’s right to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a request that was swiftly rejected by the state’s governor. Mayor Mike Signer said recent clashes over race and the Confederacy had turned “equestrian statues into lightning rods” and urged Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to convene a special session of the General Assembly. Signer’s statement came nearly a week after white …
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Keidel: Does Ezekiel Elliott Deserve Six Game Suspension?

By Jason Keidel Few things are as ugly as domestic violence. But this escalating tete-a-tete between the NFL and the NFLPA over Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension is growing ugly, rancorous layers, from a basic union dispute to a referendum on domestic violence, appropriate punishment, and the appropriate power a commissioner should have to mete out said punishment. Not to mention accusations of victim-shaming, with all kinds of confidential details from the NFL’s investigation into Ellio…
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