Craig briefs: VNA warns of rabies, hantavirus this year
Hantavirus is a serious respiratory disease carried by deer mice, according to a press release from the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. Be careful when cleaning. You can become infected when you inhale dirt and dust contaminated with deer mice droppings. Air out rodent-infested buildings or areas at least 30 minutes before cleaning. Use a solution of one cup bleach per gallon of water to spray materials you have used for cleaning mouse droppings. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus.
Bats, fox, porcupines and other wildlife can have rabies. Did you know:
■ Rabies is a disease transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually from bites.
■ Most human cases in the U.S. are caused by bats.
■ Bat bites leave a small wound but require urgent medical attention. If bitten, wash the wound with soap and water and call your doctor.
For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/rabies.
US House votes to open banking to pot business
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House of Representatives cast two votes this week in support of opening up banking services to state-legal marijuana businesses, according to a press release.
By a vote of 231-192, the House passed an amendment to the Financial Services appropriations bill, forbidding the use of federal funds to penalize financial institutions that serve marijuana businesses operating legally under state law. The amendment was sponsored by Reps. Denny Heck, D-Wash., Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., and Barbara Lee, D-Calif.
By a vote of 236-186, the House also rejected an amendment that would have blocked the implementation of guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury in February, intended to lay out a road map for banks seeking to serve the cannabis industry.
“This is a huge step forward for the legal cannabis industry,” National Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director Aaron Smith said. “Access to basic banking services is one of the most critical challenges facing legal cannabis businesses and the state agencies tasked with regulating them.”
Colorado treats marijuana taxes like ‘a piggy bank,’ but top lawmakers want to limit spending to two areas
The complaints from constituents and policy advocates are aimed at the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, a depository for about half of the $272 million the state is expected to generate this fiscal year from marijuana-related taxes. The legislature has guidelines for how the money should be spent, but lawmakers can use it for just about anything they want. And in practice, they do, splitting the money among dozens of different programs, across more than a dozen state agencies.