California is not joking with Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department or the federal government on its stance towards the legalization of marijuana or protecting immigrants. Sanctuary laws are being created in California cities like Berkeley that prohibit local law enforcement from assisting federal agents that do not have a a court order in pursuing legal state cannabis businesses.
Jeff Sessions spoke at the California Peace Officer’s Association this week and was not subtle about the dangers of California challenging federal law. The Justice Department has also filed a lawsuit against California. The differences in policies towards marijuana between California, along with other states, and the federal government are only getting further apart and dangerous words are being exchanged.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned her city about an impending immigration raid, which Sessions said would endanger the lives of law enforcement.
Sessions traveled to California to speak to the California Peace Officers’ Association on Wednesday, saying that federal law is “the supreme law of the land,” according to his prepared remarks. “Bragging about and encouraging the obstruction of our law enforcement and the law is an embarrassment to this proud and important state.”
California Governor Jerry Brown is pushing back against Jeff Sessions, telling reporters that the attorney general acts “more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer.” The comments came after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state, challenging its sanctuary laws on immigration.
“Federal enforcement could have serious negative impacts in local tax revenues,” read the proposal. “A regulated cannabis industry means cannabis cultivation will… contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environmental impact than an underground cannabis economy that will persist despite federal enforcement.”
California is a massive economy, the sixth largest in the world, and holds a great deal of leverage that they are plainly willing to use against the federal government. Will California’s leverage be enough to force the federal government to calm down on its policies towards cannabis before the conflict escalates any further?