Though the states of Washington and Colorado have passed referendums to decriminalize marijuana in their states, there are still federal laws that make the substance illegal. Grassley responded to a question about marijuana by saying that the US Attorney General's Office has allowed these referendums stand as long as the marijuana stays there and is not transferred or sold to other states.
Grassley has proposed changes to banking laws, due to the changes in Colorado and Washington, as it is currently a crime to profit from illegal substances.
"These may be legal businesses," Grassley said, "but the regulation is under federal law." He believes that no action to address the discrepancy opens the door to money laundering.
"We're helping to facilitate that sort of crime," Grassley said.
At the time of the interview, Grassley said that President Obama was meeting with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. While there, Canada is pressuring Obama to sign off on the pipeline, intended to pump oil from Canada to the United States and Mexico. Grassley believes that if Obama waits too long ot make a decision, Canada will find another buyer for its oil; China.
Meanwhile, environmental concerns sometimes hinder America's own energy production. The State Department, however, has ruled that the Keystone Pipeline will not have an adverse affect on the environment.
"Canada is not as stupid as the United States," Grassley said. "They're going to harvest as much of their energy as they can."
Grassley is convinced that, even though the Senate has passed immigration reform, nothing will be signed into law this year. The House Republicans do not want to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but would prefer to make changes in pieces, if at all.