Berke­ley de­clares it’s a sanc­tu­ary city for pot users

Manteca Bulletin - - Local/ State -

BERKE­LEY (AP) — Berke­ley has de­clared it­self a sanc­tu­ary city for mar­i­juana users, a largely sym­bolic move that ce­ments a pol­icy pro­hibit­ing city em­ploy­ees from as­sist­ing fed­eral of­fi­cials in the en­force­ment of fed­eral mar­i­juana laws.

The Berke­ley City Coun­cil voted unan­i­mously Tues­day in fa­vor of the res­o­lu­tion pro­posed by Mayor Jesse Ar­reguin and two city coun­cilmem­bers.

“I be­lieve we can bal­ance pub­lic safety and re­sist­ing the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Ar­reguin said.

In a tweet af­ter the vote, Ar­reguin said the move was a di­rect re­sponse to U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions’ “mis­guided crack­down on our demo­cratic de­ci­sion to le­gal­ize recre­ational cannabis.”

Ses­sions said last month it would be up to U.S. pros- ecu­tors in states where pot is le­gal to de­cide which mar­i­juana cases they pur­sue. And while fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors have not acted against le­gal mar­i­juana busi­nesses, sev­eral states are con­sid­er­ing so-called sanc­tu­ary sta­tus to pro­tect them.

The mea­sure in the fa­mously lib­eral city does not pre­vent lo­cal of­fi­cials from as­sist­ing fed­eral agents in other drug-related crimes, Ar­reguin said.

Cal­i­for­ni­ans voted in Novem­ber 2016 to le­gal­ize recre­ational mar­i­juana and abol­ish a host of pot-related crimes, but us­ing or pos­sess­ing mar­i­juana re­mains il­le­gal un­der fed­eral law.

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