As California continues to function in a new era of legal marijuana, Berkeley has declared it is now a "sanctuary city" for cannabis users. CBS San Francisco reports that the Berkeley City Council voted in favor of a resolution that would designate the area as a sanctuary city for cannabis customers, businesses, providers and landlords.
The resolution, proposed by Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and City Councilmembers Ben Bartlett and Cheryl Davila, comes in direct response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' crackdown on the use of recreational marijuana, something Arreguin deems "misguided."
In light of threats by Attorney General Sessions regarding a misguided crackdown on our democratic decision to legalize recreational cannabis, we have become what may be the first city in the country to declare ourselves a sanctuary city for cannabis. #berkmtg
Arreguin tweeted after the resolution passed that in light of "threats" by Sessions, "We have become what may be the first city in the country to declare ourselves a sanctuary city for cannabis."
Sessions issued a marijuana enforcement memo early last month formally rescinding the Obama administration's guidance, which enabled states to legalize marijuana without federal intervention. His one-page memo made it clear that marijuana possession and distribution is against federal law, and U.S. attorneys should approach these cases as they do all other cases when enforcing them.
California voters in 2016 made it legal for adults 21 and older to grow, possess and use limited quantities of marijuana, but it wasn't legal to sell it for recreational purposes until this past New Year's Day.
The state and local governments still have a lot of work ahead to get the massive industry running that's projected to bring in $1 billion annually in tax revenue within several years.