The marijuana industry is big business, and even though it’s only been legal for recreational use since January in the Golden State, Berkeley’s city council is considering legislation that will protect growers, shop owners and customers.
A resolution, if approved, would prohibit local law enforcement from aiding the federal government in its investigations and arrests for marijuana-related offenses. Basically, this would make Berkeley a sanctuary city for pot.
The resolution was drafted by Councilman Ben Bartlett, Mayor Jesse Arreguin, and Councilwoman Cheryl Davila, and was expected to be voted on this week. Bartlett said,“there is no shortage of demand or opportunity for legal pot providers in Berkeley.”
“The lines are around the door for the cannabis industry,” he said. “The genie is already out of the bottle.”
The sanctuary resolution was prompted after a “Marijuana Enforcement” memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions was released, which “removed guidelines that directed federal prosecutors to refrain from going after cannabis businesses and users that follow state laws,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
However, Berkeley has always been protective of its pot. A Berkeley Marijuana Initiative in 1979 had the police department turning the other cheek and looking the other way when marijuana offenses were in play, making the crimes the lowest priority in enforcement. In 2008, the city council approved a resolution that declared the city a sanctuary for providers and patients, which was in opposition to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s goal to shut down dispensaries.
“Theoretically, there isn’t such a thing as legal marijuana anywhere in the United States of America,” said Dale Gieringer, the California director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
But, as we all know, that hasn’t stopped cities and states from legalizing marijuana in their territories, despite the fact it’s against federal law. The government still classifies cannabis as a substance that does not have a medical use but also has a great potential for abuse.
The Feds could, at any time, decide to hammer down on states that have illegally legalized marijuana and start handing out some pretty hefty fines. Perhaps they are just waiting for the states to collect a lot of revenue first, before swooping in and taking their fair share.
Berkeley’s sanctuary resolution, if you haven’t already made the connection, is modeled after officials declared California a sanctuary state, prohibiting law enforcement from helping in immigration control.
“Sure they can raid them at any time, but they haven’t bothered,” Gieringer said. “What this is saying to the federal government is that if you want any enforcement, you have [to] do it yourself.”
The “do it yourself” line is pretty much the entire state’s mantra when it comes to helping the Trump Administration in any of its efforts. With California seemingly taunting the rest of the U.S. with its attitude towards federal immigration and marijuana laws, how long will it be before we witness the culmination in calls for secession?
A resolution, if approved, would prohibit local law enforcement from aiding the federal government in its investigations and arrests for marijuana-related offenses. Basically, this would make Berkeley a sanctuary city for pot.Whatfinger.com