Legal Weed States Consider 'Sanctuary' Legislation to Protect Cannabis Industry From Feds
Photo via eggrole
Since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked Obama-era federal protections for state-legal cannabis businesses in January of this year, the country’s legal weed industry has been waiting for the other shoe to finally drop. However, more than two months after Sessions shredded the Cole memo, feds have yet to raid any pot shops, but politicians in 420-friendly states aren’t waiting for the worst. Instead, several have begun developing legislation to protect ganjapreneurs from any federal interference.
According to a new report from the Associated Press, bills have been introduced in California, Massachusetts, and Alaska to restrict state funds, agencies, and officials from being used to assist federal authorities in the investigation of state-approved canna-businesses.
“If the federal government wants to prosecute someone for breaking federal law, I guess they have every right to do that,” Alaska state Rep. Adam Wool, who introduced his state’s cannabis sanctuary bill, told the AP. “I’m just saying, we will have no obligation to assist them.”
The “sanctuary” concept was birthed as a response to the federal government’s recently-bolstered immigration enforcement, with a number of states, counties, and cities passing ordinances to help protect residents from the expanded actions of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
As of press time, no state has passed an expansive sanctuary bill for the cannabis industry, but the city council of Berkeley, California recently enacted a local version of the same protections, denying federal law enforcement funding, backup, or assistance in any and all matters concerning state-legal cannabis.
“Berkeley has always been a sanctuary city,” Berkeley City Councilman Bartlett told the Los Angeles Times last month. “When Jeff Sessions announced he was repealing Obama-era protections on states’ rights in regards to cannabis, we decided to step up.”
Reiterating those sentiments, California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer has pursued marijuana