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As Pot Shops Fear Federal Crackdown, CA Lawmaker Introduces Sanctuary-Pot' Bill

Local pot shops are preparing for a crackdown on federal drug agents despite the legalization of recreational marijua...

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 7:53 AM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 7:53 AM

Local pot shops are preparing for a crackdown on federal drug agents despite the legalization of recreational marijuana.

But state lawmakers are fighting to protect the industry's rights. One Democratic assemblyman wants to make California a sanctuary state for pot which means federal authorities would need a court order to bust a dispensary or marijuana grow.

With cannabis now be legal in California, business at River City Phoenix is at an all-time high.

"We've gone from probably 300-400 patients a day to maybe 500-600," said Matt Z-berg.

But Matt Z-berg fears federal drug agents could still come into his thriving Sacramento shop and take it all away.

"Any day they could come to your front door and close everything down," he said.

And U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is threatening to do just that. Last week, Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy allowing marijuana to be sold without federal prosecution.

California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) is determined to stop the feds with a sanctuary-pot bill.

"Local law enforcement should not waste their resources on going into legal state and local cannabis establishments," said Jones-Sawyer.

It would work like California's sanctuary state law, shielding illegal immigrants from federal immigration agents. The only difference here is that local and state law enforcement would be barred from helping federal drug agents. Without a court order, the feds won't be able to arrest people complying with state marijuana laws.

But would they still go after illegal pot shops?

"We will not inhibit that in any way, in fact, I've added special precautions in our bill to ensure that local law enforcement does, in fact, close down illegal marijuana operations," he said.

Anti-marijuana activists are gearing up for a new fight.

"What it's gonna take in California? They gotta bring out the National Guard and allocate millions of dollars to begin the cleanup," said activist Carla Lowe.

Carla Lowe says that would take a lot of money.

And the feds haven't announced their enforcement plan quite yet.

"I believe the state of California has set up really good regulations and procedures. I'm hoping that's enough to not get us pursued," said Z-berg.

Back at the legislature, the bill is moving through both houses, and advocates are confident the governor will sign it if it gets to his desk.

Meanwhile, are federal prosecutors free to ignore attorney general Jeff Sessions' rescinding of the Obama era policy? In short, yes.

United States attorneys in federal districts around the country have the discretion to continue to focus their resources elsewhere and to not bring marijuana cases.

But it's still unknown how President Trump's justice department will handle the new policy in practice.

Sessions has the power to replace attorneys who don't enforce marijuana laws with those who will.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97049

Reported Deaths: 2921
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7151160
DeSoto565061
Harrison388874
Jackson352770
Madison331489
Rankin331179
Lee276470
Forrest250976
Jones250479
Washington225977
Lafayette219840
Lauderdale2065125
Bolivar184966
Oktibbeha180252
Lamar172836
Lowndes158158
Neshoba1581104
Panola151031
Sunflower148046
Leflore141781
Warren140950
Pontotoc128216
Pike124251
Monroe123969
Copiah119333
Scott117627
Coahoma116329
Marshall111517
Lincoln111453
Holmes110059
Grenada109536
Yazoo106230
Simpson104846
Tate101138
Union99924
Leake96238
Adams94337
Wayne90821
Pearl River89653
Marion86935
Prentiss86517
Itawamba83521
Alcorn82711
Covington82723
George78313
Tallahatchie77621
Newton77324
Winston74219
Tishomingo69438
Chickasaw68524
Tippah67317
Attala67125
Clarke60346
Walthall60226
Clay59818
Hancock59022
Jasper57815
Noxubee55516
Smith53815
Calhoun52412
Tunica49915
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46520
Yalobusha43714
Lawrence43313
Perry42419
Greene38617
Quitman3805
Humphreys37815
Stone37612
Jefferson Davis34211
Webster33813
Amite33510
Carroll32112
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2293
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19833350
Mobile13471292
Montgomery8865184
Tuscaloosa8744118
Madison797878
Shelby604349
Lee594560
Baldwin558850
Marshall396743
Calhoun354844
Etowah354045
Morgan332728
Houston293521
Elmore269148
DeKalb243521
St. Clair234036
Walker233084
Talladega217729
Limestone213520
Cullman191120
Dallas179326
Franklin179029
Autauga178525
Russell17653
Lauderdale174033
Colbert167526
Blount161815
Escambia161424
Chilton159330
Jackson158911
Covington140327
Dale139944
Coffee13656
Pike120510
Chambers117242
Tallapoosa116685
Clarke110416
Marion97129
Butler91439
Barbour8867
Winston74512
Marengo72620
Pickens66814
Randolph66013
Bibb65710
Lowndes65727
Hale64928
Geneva6384
Lawrence62823
Cherokee61413
Bullock60714
Clay5928
Monroe5908
Washington56113
Crenshaw54232
Perry5426
Conecuh53711
Wilcox53211
Henry5085
Macon48318
Fayette4678
Sumter43819
Cleburne3895
Lamar3772
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
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