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(SFGate)   Having your credit card refuse to cover your medical marijuana purchase? Priceless   (sfgate.com) divider line 121
    More: Asinine, marijuana, credit cards  
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7602 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jul 2012 at 2:50 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-12 12:47:21 PM
Although I am pro-legalization, calling this asinine is a stretch.

These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.
 
2012-07-12 12:58:20 PM
CC companies have to protect their own interests. If you wanna get pissed at someone, get pissed at the Feds for their asinine policies.
 
2012-07-12 01:19:58 PM
Waaaa... a private company is not allowing me to use their services to participate in something that the federal government deems illegal. Waaaa.
 
2012-07-12 02:10:58 PM
This would have been more entertaining if it had been posted on the Consumerist, I think.
 
2012-07-12 02:17:51 PM
BofA seems to appear on a number of sh*t lists and yet they got a huge bailout. Why do people bank with them?
 
2012-07-12 02:52:55 PM
ATM solves everything...
 
2012-07-12 02:53:59 PM

Trashy: ATM solves everything...


You never go ATM.
 
2012-07-12 02:56:06 PM

meanmutton: Trashy: ATM solves everything...

You never go ATM.


You NEVER go ATM?
 
2012-07-12 02:56:30 PM

cman: These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.


No, what's asinine is that the federal government is taking something that's in the free market, and slowly forcing it back into the black market. Forcing people to use untraceable transactions will only lead to less reported revenue, and therefore less tax revenue for the government.

It's a classic example of shooting yourself in the foot.
 
2012-07-12 02:56:47 PM
Because financial companies don't want anything to do with illegal transactions.

That they can get caught on.

Financial institutions - the last bastion of morality in this country.


Hahahahahaaaaaaaaaa.... sniff... Hahahahahaaaaaaaaa
 
2012-07-12 02:57:23 PM
That's ironic since we used MasterCard and visa in Amsterdam to buy local "items".

Just legalize it all, let the junkies fall where they want, we can say its thinning out the gene pool by getting rid of people that are easily addicted.
 
2012-07-12 02:57:35 PM
If I were to patronize one of those businesses, I'd probably want it to be cash only, no paper trail and all.
 
2012-07-12 02:58:11 PM
They only launder for big time drug ops, you fools.
 
2012-07-12 03:00:03 PM

cman: Although I am pro-legalization, calling this asinine is a stretch.

These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.


Yeah that's how I read the article too. Not that credit card companies aren't scumbags, they just have a good reason to not want to get involved in the sale of medical marijuana. And it's not like having to pay cash is the most terrible thing anyways (that's how I buy my weed, though a doctor is nowhere to be seen when I do it)
 
2012-07-12 03:00:26 PM
The guy in the picture looked like the British version of Willie Nelson.
 
2012-07-12 03:01:11 PM

AbbeySomeone: BofA seems to appear on a number of sh*t lists and yet they got a huge bailout. Why do people bank with them?


It's not just BofA, it is every major bank in the US that is turning away marijuana business.

Marijuana is still against Federal Law, as such, handling transactions for them could be considered money laundering. Banks unknowingly launder lots of drug money. But knowingly laundering money for a drug organization is a big Federal Crime. Potentially the Feds could use asset forfeiture laws to seize bank assets if the banks continue to do business with the dispensaries.

It is a remote chance, but all it takes is one Federal Prosecutor who wants a promotion, by seizing a major bank, to make it happen.

Every State that has medical marijuana dispensaries faces similar issues. Actually, I am kind of surprised to hear that it hasn't come up before.

It just occurred to me that a corner drug dealer with Square could take debit and credit cards, have some legitimate sounding business name. Short cuts the whole laundering problem. Anyone know if illegal drug dealers are opening Square accounts?
 
2012-07-12 03:01:46 PM

cman: Although I am pro-legalization, calling this asinine is a stretch.

These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.


Yeah, credit cards refuse to work with any company where:

A) the chance of the money being seized is too high
B) the chance of fraud is too high (as defined by people insisting on returns)

There's plenty of gambling venues both online and in the real world that credit processing agencies found too risky, as well.
 
2012-07-12 03:02:14 PM

meanmutton: Trashy: ATM solves everything...

You never go ATM.


Well played.. my comment was implying that old Mastercard commercial, but hey this is sound advice too.
 
2012-07-12 03:03:36 PM
So what's not asinine about the government raiding Visa?
 
2012-07-12 03:03:58 PM

cman: Although I am pro-legalization, calling this asinine is a stretch.

These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.


The linked article is interesting, for what it is mostly missing, which is a strong accusation this action is not taken by the credit card companies sui generis, but as a result of pressure from the Treasury Department.

i.imgur.com

SF Weekly "Snitch Blog"

I'm not sure if they CC companies were actually pressured, if so, Treasury and President Obama deserve criticism for that.
 
2012-07-12 03:04:02 PM

Hagenhatesyouall: meanmutton: Trashy: ATM solves everything...

You never go ATM.

You NEVER go ATM?


No... you never go full ATM.
 
2012-07-12 03:04:09 PM
I wonder if this isn't also tied to the amount of chargebacks that must come about with medical marijuana. Go charge $300 worth of bud. Go home. Call your credit card company and claim that you never made the charge. Now it's up to the merchant to prove they made a sale that's illegal by federal standards?
 
2012-07-12 03:04:43 PM

Hagenhatesyouall: meanmutton: Trashy: ATM solves everything...

You never go ATM.

You NEVER go ATM?


You never go Full ATM.
 
2012-07-12 03:04:56 PM

ordinarysteve: cman: Although I am pro-legalization, calling this asinine is a stretch.

These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.

Yeah that's how I read the article too. Not that credit card companies aren't scumbags, they just have a good reason to not want to get involved in the sale of medical marijuana. And it's not like having to pay cash is the most terrible thing anyways (that's how I buy my weed, though a doctor is nowhere to be seen when I do it)


It does feel sketchy considering ALL of my other costs are taken care of via credit card or via debits from my bank account.
 
2012-07-12 03:05:11 PM

cman: Although I am pro-legalization, calling this asinine is a stretch.

These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.


So what's not asinine about the government raiding Visa because someone bought something that should be legal?
 
2012-07-12 03:05:11 PM
Good for the banks. If the proper authority refuses to enforce marijuana laws, then I guess the banks are doing us a favor.

/I was in Denver last month visiting family and there was a girl in a bikini holding a marijuana sign pointing to a business that sells marijuana. We saw these stores all over. No cops around or anything.
 
2012-07-12 03:05:30 PM
I don't smoke up, but I don't care if you do. It really should be legal and taxed. But dudes like the guy in the photo are part of the reason that the government can cry "filthy hippies want their pot" and get away with it.
 
2012-07-12 03:06:20 PM
Just about every pot shop has an ATM on site. This will affect nothing.
 
2012-07-12 03:06:50 PM

His Sonshine: Good for the banks. If the proper authority refuses to enforce marijuana laws, then I guess the banks are doing us a favor.

/I was in Denver last month visiting family and there was a girl in a bikini holding a marijuana sign pointing to a business that sells marijuana. We saw these stores all over. No cops around or anything.


No cops because marijuana laws in Colorado are similar to California's. The store was legal under their local and State laws, why would the cops bother?
 
2012-07-12 03:07:39 PM

MindStalker: Hagenhatesyouall: meanmutton: Trashy: ATM solves everything...

You never go ATM.

You NEVER go ATM?

You never go Full ATM.


Ohhh... so close. :P
 
2012-07-12 03:07:45 PM

D_Evans45: Just about every pot shop has an ATM on site. This will affect nothing.


If the Dispensaries are smart, they will buy the ATM machines themselves, so they can charge a fee on the ATM transaction too.
 
2012-07-12 03:08:21 PM
i used my CC on tuesday without any problems at a dispensary... when did/does this take affect?

at least CCs leave a paper trail for tax revenue... cash, not so much.
 
2012-07-12 03:09:23 PM

slognard: I wonder if this isn't also tied to the amount of chargebacks that must come about with medical marijuana. Go charge $300 worth of bud. Go home. Call your credit card company and claim that you never made the charge. Now it's up to the merchant to prove they made a sale that's illegal by federal standards?


that's a stretch to say the least....plus I bet that 99% of dispensaries have video camera's PLUS you need to have a "green" card to buy....all pretty easy to prove
 
2012-07-12 03:10:13 PM

kosherkow: i used my CC on tuesday without any problems at a dispensary... when did/does this take affect?

at least CCs leave a paper trail for tax revenue... cash, not so much.


The dispensaries may not want a paper trail anymore. According to the article the IRS is giving them grief about being illegal enterprises too.

Be interesting to see how the State of California reacts when these businesses go all cash and collecting their taxes becomes more difficult.
 
2012-07-12 03:10:37 PM

Sir Not Sure The Unscannable: ordinarysteve: cman: Although I am pro-legalization, calling this asinine is a stretch.

These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.

Yeah that's how I read the article too. Not that credit card companies aren't scumbags, they just have a good reason to not want to get involved in the sale of medical marijuana. And it's not like having to pay cash is the most terrible thing anyways (that's how I buy my weed, though a doctor is nowhere to be seen when I do it)

It does feel sketchy considering ALL of my other costs are taken care of via credit card or via debits from my bank account.


Yeah I agree but as others have pointed out above, the government shouldn't be arresting and seizing property for something that is legal in those 17 states. Pot is gonna be legal in a decade or so anyways IMO
 
2012-07-12 03:12:15 PM
"We are working diligently to address this issue quickly," Vapor Room, a Haight Street dispensary, told members Sunday.

By diligently, we mean we're totally getting right on that... after this one fattie.
 
2012-07-12 03:12:23 PM

cman: Although I am pro-legalization, calling this asinine is a stretch.

These credit card companies are attempting to back away from possible federal legal proceedings. I dont really think that many of the workers up in Visa would like to be indicted on federal drug charges.


You can pay for hookers and blow with a credit card at most strip clubs.


I highly doubt that cannabis is nearly as harmful.
 
2012-07-12 03:13:11 PM
just swing by the automatic ATM machine and put in your personal PIN number and you are good to go.

/let's go get stoned
 
2012-07-12 03:13:23 PM
CSB: A few years ago, I was working in Dusseldorf. I took an afternoon to visit Amsterdam, and made it a POINT to buy weed with my MasterCard.
 
2012-07-12 03:13:28 PM

His Sonshine: Good for the banks. If the proper authority refuses to enforce marijuana laws, then I guess the banks are doing us a favor.

/I was in Denver last month visiting family and there was a girl in a bikini holding a marijuana sign pointing to a business that sells marijuana. We saw these stores all over. No cops around or anything.


Yeah, cause it's legal here. Go back to whatever red state shiatbox you come from and take your kin with you. We don't need or want you here, we're fine without your authoritarian ignorance.
 
2012-07-12 03:14:22 PM
All the Republicans who cry out for "states' rights" on issues like health care and gay marriage support the feds backing down over medical marijuana and allowing states to control it themselves, right?
 
2012-07-12 03:16:13 PM

weiserfireman: D_Evans45: Just about every pot shop has an ATM on site. This will affect nothing.

If the Dispensaries are smart, they will buy the ATM machines themselves, so they can charge a fee on the ATM transaction too.



Im pretty sure they do already, these dispensaries are rolling in cash. You need $30,000 to even start selling pot legally in my area, and probably twice that in product to compete. So they've already $90k cash/assets to play with. And in reality, they probably have muuch more product than that if they plan on competing out here. They get like 1000 dollars off a couple ounces of hash, my favorite shop keeps at least a couple pounds of hash at all times. They carry like 20 hashes with ounces in jars and when a jar gets low they fill it back to the top from some unseen reserves. They also have 30 different kinds of cannabis, I'm guessing they're keeping a quarter pound of each AT LEAST and more likely several pounds of most. Californians buy this stuff up like milk and toilet paper, it's a necessity.
 
2012-07-12 03:16:16 PM
You should be paying cash for the medical marijuana anyway. Given the Feds still raid the places, why the hell would you want a money trail leading back from there?
 
2012-07-12 03:18:31 PM
As if the federal government would ever prosecute a financial institution. Yeah, right.
 
2012-07-12 03:19:17 PM

bsharitt: All the Republicans who cry out for "states' rights" on issues like health care and gay marriage support the feds backing down over medical marijuana and allowing states to control it themselves, right?


Actually, in Colorado anyway, some Repubs are pro-herb legalization. Not the evangelicals(no surprise) or tea partiers(kinda surprising, hypocritical).
 
2012-07-12 03:19:29 PM

Nem Wan: As if the federal government would ever prosecute a financial institution. Yeah, right.


For fraud? Not really. For drugs? Yeah, they will own them on that
 
2012-07-12 03:19:36 PM

weiserfireman: kosherkow: i used my CC on tuesday without any problems at a dispensary... when did/does this take affect?

at least CCs leave a paper trail for tax revenue... cash, not so much.

The dispensaries may not want a paper trail anymore. According to the article the IRS is giving them grief about being illegal enterprises too.

Be interesting to see how the State of California reacts when these businesses go all cash and collecting their taxes becomes more difficult.


ironically, the one i went to had an ATM inside, just in case cards didnt work.
 
2012-07-12 03:19:59 PM
Feds: please calm down. Here. Take a couple hits.

There. Not such a big deal anymore, is it?
 
2012-07-12 03:20:06 PM

D_Evans45: Californians buy this stuff up like milk and toilet paper, it's a necessity.


And as such is a guaranteed revenue source for local governments, which is hard to come by these days. Stay tough on crime and make money, win-win.
 
2012-07-12 03:20:09 PM

MrEricSir: No, what's asinine is that the federal government is taking something that's in the free market


What item being talked about is in the free market?
 
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