Berkeley, California made landmark moves in the fight for legal cannabis freedom Tuesday night. City Council members passed a resolution declaring Berkeley a sanctuary city for recreational marijuana.
According to the new resolution, “the city of Berkeley does not support cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Agency in its efforts to undermine state and local marijuana laws.”
Under the new ruling, no Berkeley department, agency, authority, employee, or officer “shall use any city funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal drug laws related to cannabis.”
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who proposed the measure, said it may be the first of its kind.
“In light of threats made by Attorney General Jeff 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 for cannabis,” Arreguin tweeted after the resolution passed on Tuesday.
This action taken by Berkeley city officials is in direct response to Jeff Sessions’ decision in early January to rescind the Cole Memo, which gave states with legal cannabis laws protection under federal prosecution.
Berkeley, forever the progressive city, made a similar decision ten years ago with medical cannabis. Then it was a sanctuary city for medical marijuana patients, one that refused to give into federal efforts to crackdown on medical marijuana patients, providers, and suppliers.
Again, Berkeley isn’t backing down. The decision to become a sanctuary city for recreational cannabis in California is but one of many in the state pushing back against the Trump administration.
There are countless people in the state that view Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memo is a direct threat to the legal cannabis industry. Despite these threats, some believe Sessions’ decision won’t have a long-term impact on the legal industry.
Jared Kiloh owner of The Higher Path, a medical and recreational dispensary in Sherman Oaks, California says he doesn’t see this influencing the long-term trend.
“We’ve seen a lot of our politicians come out very strongly in favor of what the public of California has stated what they want to have,” Kiloh sain in an interview with CNN.