Lawmaker Renews Push to Make California a Sanctuary State for Marijuana

Assemblymemver Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) is renewing his effort to get legislation passed into law that would make California a sanctuary state for marijuana.

The renewed effort comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he’s rescinding the Obama-era Cole Memo which gave some protection to state-authorized cannabis outlets. Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer’s proposal, Assembly Bill 1578, was approved by the state’s Assembly in June by a vote of 41 to 33. Later that month it was approved by a Senate committee 5 to 2, but has since stalled.

“The impacts of this ill-conceived and poorly executed war are still being felt by communities of color across the state,” Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer said in a statement. “The last time California supported the federal government’s efforts, families were torn apart and critical state resources were used to incarcerate more black and brown people than ever before in the history of our state.”

If passed into law, Assembly Bill 1578 would prohibit state and local agencies from using “money, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist a federal agency to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity that is authorized by law in the State of California”, unless there is a court order signed by a judge. It would also prevent them from responding to a request “made by a federal agency for personal information about an individual who is authorized to possess, cultivate, transport, manufacture, sell, or possess for sale marijuana or marijuana products or medical cannabis or medical cannabis products, if that request is made for the purpose of investigating or enforcing federal marijuana law.”

In addition, State and local agencies would  not be allowed to “Provide information about a person who has applied for or received a license to engage in commercial marijuana or commercial medical cannabis activity pursuant to MCRSA or AUMA”, or “Transfer an individual to federal law enforcement authorities for purposes of marijuana enforcement or detain an individual at the request of federal law enforcement for conduct that is legal under state law.”

The full text of Assembly Bill 1578 can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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