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California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is prepared to fight the Trump administration if it goes after state-licensed marijuana businesses.
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is prepared to fight the Trump administration if it goes after state-licensed marijuana businesses. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Thursday that if a new federal policy results in prosecutors charging marijuana growers and sellers licensed by the state, he would not rule out intervening in court on behalf of the state-sanctioned business.

“You take a look at everywhere you can to protect your people and your interests,” Becerra said in an interview with the Times.

He said that he may also collaborate with attorneys general in other states that have legalized marijuana sales to fight any federal enforcement effort.

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Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, center, plans to revive a measure that would make California a sanctuary state for the marijuana industry.
Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, center, plans to revive a measure that would make California a sanctuary state for the marijuana industry. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Alarmed by the threat of federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states that license its sale, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) on Thursday said he will revive a bill that stalled last year and that would make California a so-called sanctuary state for the marijuana industry.

Borrowing an idea from a new state law on immigration enforcement, Jones-Sawyer’s measure would prohibit state and local agencies, absent a court order, from assisting in federal drug enforcement efforts targeting those who have state licenses to grow and sell marijuana.

The bill would, among other things, prevent the state from providing federal agents with the names, addresses and other business information of firms issued permits to grow, distribute and sell marijuana.

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U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions rescinded a policy that had allowed states to license pot shops without federal enforcement
U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions rescinded a policy that had allowed states to license pot shops without federal enforcement (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Days after California began issuing licenses for marijuana sales, state leaders were preparing Thursday for possible political and legal battles in response to a decision by U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to rescind a federal policy that has allowed dispensaries to operate without fear of prosecution.

Officials from the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown and California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said they are prepared to defend state laws including Proposition 64, the initiative approved by California voters in November 2016 that allows possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use.

“In California, we decided it was best to regulate, not criminalize, cannabis. Unlike others, we embrace, not fear, change. After all, this is 2018 not the 20th century,” Becerra said. “At the California Department of Justice we intend to vigorously enforce our state's laws and protect our state's interests.”

U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions rescinded a policy that had allowed states to license pot shops without federal enforcement
U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions rescinded a policy that had allowed states to license pot shops without federal enforcement (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Days after California began issuing licenses for marijuana sales, state leaders were preparing Thursday for possible political and legal battles in response to a decision by U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to rescind a federal policy that has allowed dispensaries to operate without fear of prosecution.

Officials from the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown and California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said they are prepared to defend state laws including Proposition 64, the initiative approved by California voters in November 2016 that allows possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use.

“In California, we decided it was best to regulate, not criminalize, cannabis. Unlike others, we embrace, not fear, change. After all, this is 2018 not the 20th century,” Becerra said. “At the California Department of Justice we intend to vigorously enforce our state's laws and protect our state's interests.”

  • State government
Oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (Los Angeles Times)

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday criticized plans by President Trump’s administration to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.

“For more than 30 years, our shared coastline has been protected from further federal drilling and we’ll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action,” Brown said in a joint statement with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

The three Democratic governors said the president’s proposal, which would open up federal lease sales off the California coast for the first time since 1984, ignores prior harm from offshore spills and the need to reduce fossil fuel dependence in the face of climate change.

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  • California Legislature
Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell)
Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Looking to combat the opioid abuse epidemic, a Silicon Valley legislator has introduced a slate of bills meant to clamp down on access to highly addictive prescription drugs.

Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) authored three measures meant to provide a better understanding of patients’ access to these medications, building on an existing state database tracking prescriptions in California.

“I don’t think there’s enough attention at the issue at hand, which is the system is not working,” Low said.