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Berkeley declares itself a sanctuary city for recreational pot

Berkeley City Council members have passed a resolution declaring the city a sanctuary for recreational marijuana....

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 11:50 AM
Updated: Feb 14, 2018 11:50 AM

Berkeley City Council members have passed a resolution declaring the city a sanctuary for recreational marijuana.

The move may be the first of its kind in the country, tweeted Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who proposed the measure.

Berkeley passed resolution declaring itself a sanctuary city for marijuana

The mayor referred to the attorney general's policy in a tweet

Under the new resolution, which passed Tuesday night, no Berkeley department, agency, commission, officer or employee "shall use any city funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal drug laws related to cannabis."

The city will also oppose attempts by the US Drug Enforcement Administration to close cannabis businesses. "The city of Berkeley does not support cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration in its efforts to undermine state and local marijuana laws," the resolution states.

California voters approved a proposition in 2016 to allowing the use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, which went into effect this year.

"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," Arreguin tweeted Tuesday.

His tweet referred to a move last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who rescinded a federal stance of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws. Sessions made the announcement January 4, just days after laws went into effect allowing recreational marijuana use and commercial sales of pot in California.

While California and many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law.

This isn't the first time Berkeley city officials have used a sanctuary approach when it comes to marijuana.

Ten years ago, the Berkeley City Council adopted a similar resolution that applied to medical marijuana, declaring the city a sanctuary for medical marijuana patients and providers.

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