Marijuana Businesses Ask Congress
To Grant Them Banking Services

     The lack of legal banking services for marijuana-related businesses is creating unnecessary economic barriers and encouraging crime, the owner of a Washington, D.C. marijuana business told Congress last week.
     A House Financial Services subcommittee called the hearing to determine whether federal law that bans banking services for marijuana businesses should be changed.
     “There is still no federally-approved system for businesses to perform typical duties like pay salaries, service customers using credit or debit cards, access working capital loans, pay bills via check, etcetera,” Corey Barnette said in his congressional testimony.
     Barnette is the owner of District Growers LLC marijuana cultivation center and the Metropolitan Wellness Center Inc. cannabis dispensary.
     “The current system serves to create a public safety disaster, disadvantages small and minority-owned businesses, hassles both employees and service providers to the industry, makes tax collection overly burdensome, and serves to largely stifle the growth of the industry,” he said.

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   Do you know someone who wants to sell a home, office or other real estate?
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   Your only obligation is to phone or e-mail Tom Ramstack with the name, address, phone number or e-mail address of the seller. In most cases, it should take no more than 10 minutes of your time.
   For more information, click the Real Estate icon on the menu above or contact Tom Ramstack at 240-421-6395 or e-mail
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Legal Briefs

D.C. Councilmember Settles for $75,000
After Suing Police Over Traffic Incident

     The Washington Metropolitan Police Department paid D.C. Councilmember Trayon White a $75,000 settlement for his complaint about a confrontation with a traffic officer, the D.C. attorney general acknowledged last week.
     White received the settlement seven months after taking office on the D.C. Council in 2017, according to a report from television station NBC4.
     White, a Ward 8 Democrat, filed the civil rights lawsuit in 2014 in U.S. District Court. He said he was confronted by the officer while he was preparing for the annual Marion Barry Turkey Drive at a church.
     “Without warning or provocation, and with malice, (the officer) brutally used the trunk of Mr. White’s vehicle to repeatedly slam Mr. White’s head, arms and shoulder, causing injury to Mr. White,” the lawsuit said.
     The 2014 incident was one of three altercations between White and the police since 2011, when he was arrested during a protest at a public housing complex. He said he was targeted by the police.
     In June 2017, he was arrested for driving with a suspended license after being stopped for no headlights shortly before midnight. The charge for the suspended license was dropped in August 2018.
     The 2017 arrest prompted The Washington Post to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain police body camera footage of the incident.
White has resisted media efforts to obtain the footage. The Post filed a lawsuit to get the information.
     D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine wrote in a court filing that White's privacy outweighs the public's right to view the footage. The lawsuit is pending.
     For more information, contact The Legal Forum ( at or phone: 202-479-7240.​


D.C. in Brief

D.C. Turns Over Gun Cases
To Federal Prosecutors

Washington’s mayor announced a program last week to drive down gun violence by prosecuting the cases in federal court instead of D.C. Superior Court.
     The U.S. Attorney’s office predicted the new initiative could double the number of repeat offender gun cases prosecuted in the District of Columbia.
     The program is a response to a 40 percent increase in homicides last year to 160.
     U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu said, “This strategy will enable us to leverage local and federal law enforcement resources throughout the District from the ground level up, giving us an opportunity from the very start of a case to try to find out where these firearms are coming from, how they’re being used and what we can do to prevent further violence.”
     Most of the federal prosecutions would be for “felon-in-possession” gun cases likely to result in longer prison terms than defendants would receive in D.C. Superior Court, U.S. attorney officials said.

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Book on Boston Marathon Bombs
Shows Lone Wolf Terrorism Rises

   A new book that reports on the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and trial of the convicted killer shows the attack was only an early example of more coming soon.
   Boston's Bloody Marathon uses the bombings by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother as an example of the lone wolf terrorism increasingly encouraged by Islamic extremist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.
   Lone wolves refer to terrorists who plot their attacks alone, usually with no organization to support them and no official links to violent groups. There is almost no way to know their next target until they strike. U.S. intelligence agencies call them perhaps the biggest terrorist threat to the United States and its allies.
   Boston's Bloody Marathon, by Tom Ramstack, is available on and
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High School Student Sues Washington Post
Over Report on Incident with Native American

     A high school student who confronted an elderly Native American protester in front of the Lincoln Memorial last month sued the Washington Post this week for its report on the incident.
     Nicholas Sandmann says the Post defamed him after a video of the confrontation went viral on television and the Internet.
     It shows 16-year-old Sandmann standing directly in front of 64-year-old Nathan Phillips as he beat a drum and sang a Native American song.
     Some viewers described Sandmann’s expression as a smirk while he wore a Make America Great Again hat. He said he was smiling.
     Attorney Alan Dershowitz said during a television interview this week that Sandmann has a “reasonable case” to prove defamation against the Post. However, he said the $250 million in damages Sandmann claims was too high.

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Coast Guard Officer Held Without Bond
After Alleged Racist Mass Murder Plot

     A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of being a white supremacist plotting mass murder faced a detention hearing in federal court in Greenbelt Thursday on gun and drug-related charges.
     His targets included Democratic leaders such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, according to prosecutors.
     Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, was assigned to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington when FBI agents discovered 15 firearms, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and steroids in his Silver Spring home that he allegedly planned to use to bulk up his muscles before an attack.
     Prosecutors’ court filings said Hasson wanted to “establish a white homeland” and wrote, “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth,” in a letter that explained his plan for a biological weapon.
     A judge granted prosecutors’ request that Hasson be held without bond pending trial.
Prosecutors also wrote in a filing that the gun and drug charges “are the proverbial tip of the iceberg” as they continue to gather more evidence.
     Records of Hasson’s Internet searches showed they included phrases such as “where do most senators live in dc,” “do senators have ss [Secret Service]” and “are supreme court justices protected,” according to prosecutors.
     “The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” prosecutors said in court documents filed this week.