California may become a sanctuary state for pot.
California is on the move to become a “sanctuary state” for marijuana, allowing for state-sanctioned cannabis businesses to be safer from federal shut-down. In the wake of the new Trump Administration, there has been widespread talk of re-entering the War on Drugs, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions leading the charge. In recent years, the rising marijuana industry has become more legitimized, with 26 states and the District of Columbia broadly legalizing marijuana in some form. Sessions has been reported saying that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” a drug he has described as “only slightly less awful than heroin.”
As it stands on the federal law, marijuana and heroin are both Schedule 1 drugs, or according to the DEA, “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
“I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store, ” Sessions reported.
With obstacles like this, it is an uphill battle for legitimate marijuana business to remain available to those who need it the most– medical patients.
However, California has a bill moving fast through Congress that might affect how efficient the feds could be at shutting down operations in the state. This bill, which passed 41-33 in the state Assembly, would make it impossible for local and state police to assist in shutting down marijuana businesses without a court order. This would force the federal government to use more resources and money to interfere with any state-sanctioned marijuana business.
This bill is not the first of it’s kind to appear from states that have legalized marijuana. Colorado recently attempted a similar bill with no luck getting it through the senate. If Sessions and his like-minded lawmakers crack down on the state, it could disrupt a $6.5 billion profit by 2020 from marijuana businesses.