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Long Beach, San Leandro mayors join others to challenge Trump administration on marijuana enforcement

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia joined other mayors in challenging federal marijuana policy. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia joined other mayors in challenging federal marijuana policy. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

The mayors of 10 cities including Seattle, Long Beach and San Leandro have signed a letter urging U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to reconsider his decision to roll back a federal policy that gave low priority to prosecution of marijuana offenses in states that legalized the use of the drug.

“Reversing course now is a misguided legal overreach and an attack on cities where legal, safe, and high regulated recreational sale and use occurs, and on the majority of states where the voters have made their voices heard loud and clear on this issue,” the letter said.

Instead, the federal government should focus on combating the opioid epidemic, according to the letter by mayors including Jenny A. Durkan of Seattle, Michael B. Hancock of Denver, Bill de Blasio of New York, Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, Ted Wheeler of Portland, Ore., Robert Garcia of Long Beach, and Pauline Cutter of San Leandro.

California is one of 28 states that have legalized marijuana for medical use. On Jan, 1, the state began issuing licenses for the growing and sale of marijuana for recreational use as well.

“President Trump and DOJ should not waste our law enforcement resources and taxpayer money on prosecuting legal activity and instead prioritize their efforts on ending the scourge of the opioid crisis,” the letter continued. “We will do everything we can within the rule of law to keep our residents safe, end the opioid crisis, and ensure our businesses, residents, and visitors are protected from this overreach.”

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