CA bill would bar local cops from aiding federal cannabis crackdown

A bill introduced in the California legislature by a coalition of Democratic lawmakers would prohibit local police and sheriff’s deputies from aiding in any type of federal crackdown on state-licensed marijuana businesses.

The intent, the bill’s backers say, is to reassure marijuana businesses that they won’t be targeted unfairly by the Department of Justice as long as they comply with state laws, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The measure again underscores the growing disconnect between state and federal marijuana policy, given that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions could technically prosecute law-abiding marijuana businesses for distribution of a controlled substance. And without a clear policy position from the Trump administration on the burgeoning cannabis industry, states have increasingly been taking measures into their own hands.

The bill is largely a response to signals from Trump administration officials – including Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer – that a federal crackdown is possible for the marijuana industry.

The measure has not yet been heard in committee, and it’s unclear what its chances are of becoming law. If it’s successful, though, the practical effect would be to place much more of a logistical and financial burden on the Drug Enforcement Administration if it should begin widespread raids of marijuana businesses. The DEA often relies on help from local cops for enforcement actions across the country.

And depending on what approach the Trump administration decides to take on cannabis, it’s possible the bill could spur copycat measures in other states with vocally pro-marijuana public officials, such as Oregon, Nevada and Washington.

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3 comments on “CA bill would bar local cops from aiding federal cannabis crackdown
  1. Richard Thompson on

    Without a CLEAR policy from the Administration, States will act to protect their citizens and businesses. Businesses need clear policies from local, State and Federal authorities. This administration needs to stop its “double speak” and clearly state its intention, as did the previous Administration. MAGA… make a decision.

  2. Robert Hempaz, PhD Trichometry on

    If Prez #DT sends in the dogs to bust a #RecMj shop, he’s a come’n with a full compliment of federal armaments. A lot of the local police departments get the old surplus equipment from the Federal government. There is a vested interest for one to help the other. Sorry #DT, but if we help we will be guilty of violating California law? That’s a push n shove match that even George Washington, especially George Washington would win. Remember Shay’s rebellion in western Mass?

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