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Berkeley Takes a Stand Against the War on Drugs

March 6, 2018

California might be doubling down on its pro-marijuana stance.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín told Cheddar that the state could soon follow in his city’s cannabis law footsteps.

“California is actually looking at potentially becoming a sanctuary state for cannabis, just like we’re a sanctuary state for enforcement of federal immigration laws,” he told Cheddar on Tuesday.

Berkeley’s City Council announced last month that municipal agencies would no longer collaborate with the Drug Enforcement Administration to enforce federal policies on recreational, adult-use marijuana. It became the first “sanctuary” city for marijuana in the U.S.

The move was a direct jab at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who earlier this year scrapped Obama-era rules that said the federal government would not interfere with states’ cannabis laws. Arreguín encourages states and cities looking to offer citizens an extra layer of protection to take the plunge and stand for states’ rights.

“Cannabis is still a drug under federal law, but many states … have actually decided that now is the time for decriminalization,” he said, “to remove the black market, to address the social impact that the war on drugs has had on communities of color, and to try to level the playing field.”

For the full interview, click here.