California has moved a step closer to becoming a “sanctuary state” where local and state police would not assist federal enforcement of marijuana laws, the Los Angeles Times reports. The state Assembly approved a bill yesterday pushed by Democrats that would bar state and local law enforcement officers, absent a court order, from helping federal drug agents in arresting people who are complying with state laws allowing the use and sale of marijuana. With a deadline day for action, the measure by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer was sent to the Senate. Jones-Sawyer said his legislation was needed because the Trump administration had threatened to resume enforcement of federal law that considered marijuana an illegal drug.
In November, California voters legalized the sale and use of recreational marijuana by approving Proposition 64, two decades after medical use was approved by state voters. The state plans to begin issuing licenses to grow, transport and sell marijuana in January. With law enforcement opposed to the bill, the measure faced long odds and achieved the bare majority 41-32 vote last night. Also against the idea were Republican lawmakers, who said it would hamper the working relationship between California police officers and federal drug agents who might discover illegal activity involving marijuana sales even in a legal market.