Oh, California. Never change… just promise us that much. Whatever would we do for entertainment?
The Golden State is at it again. After previously declaring themselves a sanctuary state which would refuse to cooperate with the deportation of illegal aliens, now they have a plan on the table to fight the Trump administration by refusing to cooperate in the arrest and prosecution of marijuana growers unless ordered to by a federal judge. But wait… marijuana is legal in California now, isn’t it? Well… that’s complicated. But California Democrats don’t want to let that stop them. (Free Beacon)
Protecting the state’s burgeoning cannabis industry is the latest front in California’s war with the Trump administration, as state officials work to make California a so-called “sanctuary state” for the marijuana industry.
The effort borrows the sanctuary idea from a controversial California law passed last year limiting local law enforcement’s efforts to work with federal authorities to arrest and deport illegal immigrants.
Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a Democrat who represents part of Los Angeles, is determined to protect the burgeoning billion-dollar marijuana industry in the state from federal prosecution by reviving a bill that stalled in the Senate in June after passing in the Assembly.
The proposed legislation would be simultaneously pointless in one regard and self-defeating in another. In the first place, the recent changes enacted by the Attorney General removed an Obama era memo instituting a “hands off” policy directing law enforcement to not go after marijuana growers and sellers. But it also doesn’t direct them to start cracking down or provide additional funding or manpower to do so. It’s left up to the agencies. Nobody even knows if they plan on taking out any pot farmers at this point.
But that’s not the real failure here. In California it’s now legal to grow marijuana and provide it to legal distributors, but only if you are doing so with the proper permits and are being regulated. The illegal growers who are, at a minimum, evading tax laws, are still subject to arrest and prosecution. Even the state’s own law enforcement officials know this, so barring them from working with the feds to get that job done is crippling the state’s ability to enforce laws which they still have on the books and need to keep in place.
Just as with the immigration-related “sanctuary state” debate, California’s law enforcement organizations don’t care for this plan either. But that probably won’t stand in the way of the Democrats in the legislature and the Governor taking another swipe at Donald Trump. (Who, as far as I know, is paying almost zero attention to this debate at the moment.)