California Legislation Would Restrict Feds From Busting Cannabis Businesses
Assembly Bill 1578 would stop local law enforcement from helping the feds bust anyone for cannabis related crimes.
Published on February 19, 2017

A new piece of legislation introduced in California would severely hamper any federal attempts at cracking down on California’s cannabis industry.

According to the Mendocino Voice Assembly Bill 1578, introduced by Assemblyman Jim Wood on Friday, would prohibit local law enforcement agencies from assisting federal agencies with anything concerning marijuana enforcement.

“This bill would prohibit a state or local agency, as defined, from taking certain actions without a court order signed by a judge, including using agency money, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist a federal agency to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity that is authorized by law in the State of California and transferring an individual to federal law enforcement authorities for purposes of marijuana enforcement." 

With Jeff Sessions confirmed as Attorney General and Donald Trump in the White House, states with legal marijuana laws have been sweating about the possibility of federal enforcement wiping out the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry. If AB 1578 passes, California won’t have to worry nearly as much.

The bill would make federal law enforcement agencies work much harder to pursue California’s cannabis industry, with no support from any California law enforcement agencies. If local support was needed, the feds would be required to obtain a letter from a judge.

If passed, AB 1578 would only apply to legal sale, use and cultivation of cannabis, under California’s recently passed Prop 64, which made non-medical marijuana use legal in the Golden State.

With the federal government run by a President who has promised to bring “law and order” to America, individual states are doing what they can to protect their citizens, and their pocketbook. The introduction of AB 1578 is California’s strongest move yet to protect the state’s cannabis industry from federal prosecution.

Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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