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Man says he was turned away from bank due to medical marijuana use: “This is between me & my doctor”

Darren Steven Miller

GRANITE CITY, Illinois — An Illinois man says he was refused service from his bank because he’s a legal medical marijuana user.

Darren Steven Miller was one of the first patients in Illinois’ Metro East area to obtain a card allowing him to legally buy medical marijuana under the state’s program. He has stage three Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and terminal lung cancer.

“I’m a legal patient of Illinois and have my right from my doctors and what I’ve been through to get access to this legal medicine,” Miller said.

However, on Monday, November 28th, he said he was stopped by the manager at the Bank of Edwardsville in Granite City.

“When I walked in the bank, he pulled me aside and said because of my cannabis use that I could not have a signature card with their bank,” Miller said.

Right now there are about 12,000 people just like Miller who have state approval to buy medical marijuana at one of the 46 dispensaries around the state of Illinois.

“Are they going to check every other person at the bank to see if they’re a legal cannabis patient and stop doing business with them also?” Miller questioned.

A spokesperson for the bank issued a statement saying the problem was that Miller listed his occupation as a marijuana activist.

The bank passed a resolution in 2015 saying that as a, “federally-regulated institution, and because of the disconnect between federal and state law and regulatory requirements, the bank will not engage in banking relationships with the medical marijuana industry at this time,” said Bill Yarbrough, the bank’s spokesperson.

However, Miller doesn’t work in the marijuana industry. The checking account was for his role as a treasurer at the Masonic Lodge in Granite City.

“This is between me and my doctor, not between me and my bank,” Miller said.

The bank refused to clarify why this resolution would apply to a bank account for a 501(c)(3) that has nothing to do with funds from the marijuana industry.

9 comments

    • jilemakr

      I’m guessing that “Stage 3 MS” is a colloquial description for Primary-Progressive MS, which is the 3rd of 4 phases.

  • Metal Maniac

    Woah dude, you listed your occupation as “marijuana activist” how stoned are you? Anyone with two eyes could see this happening….

  • Brendan Smith

    There is n Basis on the Bank Manager to decline him from banking other than he the banker himself is a racist and profiling people with medical use. Being an activist is not federally illegal. Sativa is not federally illegal… only Indica plants are a Schedule 1 drug. So this is total discrimination without true knowledge of the federal laws. Unless the manager of the bank can prove he has Indica as prescription, they are illegally declining business to a citizen thru discrimination and profiling. There are laws which protect your medical records and if banks steal this information they are in for a giant confidentiaity lawsuit.

  • Brendan Smith

    U.S.C.S Title 21 802 definition or Marajuana is a Cannibus Sativa L. Plant NOT a Cannibus Indica plant…it’s bankers who follow laws because they are Yesmen to Lawyers which are all right wing at the top. Joined Corporate America to ruin the middle class, povertize the lower class…etc.Govern with a restrictor plate ensuring their own greed and wealth…etc. (16) The term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

  • Brendan Smith

    Meanwhile JP Morgan Chase executives left the banking industry to start massive Indica Hemp Farms in Maine…i’m sure they will hug this man if he wants to open an account…shhhzzz there is a reason the laws were grandfathered in before 1970. We’ll see what genesis 1:12 says about their ability to read the bible…”In God We Trust”

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