California News

California AG says he doesn’t expect federal crackdown on marijuana

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s top law enforcement official said he sees no sign yet of a federal crackdown on California’s burgeoning recreational marijuana industry.

But state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, in an interview with The Associated Press, also promised to continue fighting President Donald Trump’s agenda, bringing legal action and joining other states when necessary.

Becerra said he has tried to engage with the Trump administration without much success. His efforts to meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly for more clarity on their plans to enforce federal immigration law have gone unmet despite multiple requests, Becerra said.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been critical of both Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions over an attempt to revive the war on drugs. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Meanwhile, California’s Legislature is considering making California a “sanctuary state” by limiting how much state and local law enforcement officers may collaborate with the federal government’s immigration enforcement efforts, as well as bills to make it harder for immigration authorities to raid businesses.


Related: California could be a ‘sanctuary state’ from federal pot laws


But even as state legislators work to resist federal enforcement, Becerra suggested there’s room for collaboration between state officials and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, from sex trafficking to cracking down on illegal drug flow.

“I’m not trying to thwart ICE from doing its work, they’re doing some really important stuff and we’re doing some really important stuff with them,” Becerra said. “And so it just helps to have some clarity and predictability.”

Still, Becerra said he doesn’t think the federal government will make a “comprehensive effort” to crack down on recreational marijuana industries in states like California that have legalized the drug.

“My sense is that they know that if they try to do something on a large scale then they’re going to run into a real juggernaut against them,” he said.

He added that he would defend California’s marijuana industry if the federal government does try to crack down.

Read more of Becerra’s Associated Press interview here.

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Associated Press writers Sophia Bollag, Jonathan J. Cooper, Kathleen Ronayne and photographer Rich Pedroncelli contributed to this story.


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