Just what we need: the left-wing lunatics of California on even more mind-altering substances.
Courthouse News reports (via Alternet) that state Democrat Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer has introduced legislation that would make California a sanctuary state, but for marijuana instead of illegal immigration (because they’ve already got the latter):
Jones-Sawyer said California voters made it clear they don’t want [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions’ “cannabis-centric war on drugs” waged in the Golden State.
“The intent of Assembly Bill 1578 is to provide state agencies with the protection they need to uphold state laws without federal interference,” Jones-Sawyer said in a statement. “What Jeff Sessions is proposing is not a return to ‘Rule of Law’ as he claims; instead he is taking away access to cannabis for children with chronic diseases, cancer patients, seniors and veterans.”
The measure would prevent local and state law enforcement agencies from assisting federal authorities on marijuana activities that are legal under California law, without a court order. Jones-Sawyer’s bill would also bar state agencies from providing the federal government with information on licensed marijuana growers and retailers.
This, Jones-Sawyer says, is all in the name of “protect[ing] the will of California voters” and their 2016 decision to legalize marijuana use. The bill, which is of course supported by the leftist ACLU and opposed by law-enforcement groups, passed the Assembly 41-33 last year but died in the state Senate. We shall see if its prospects are any better this time around.
On the merits, in a perfect world where the Constitution was fully and consistently followed, marijuana policy would be left for each state to decide (with the exception of importing it into the United States) — unlike immigration policy, which is a federal responsibility for what should be obvious reasons. That said, regardless of whether something should be against federal law, the fact is that it currently is against federal law, meaning states can’t simply pick and choose which laws to observe and which to break.
Beyond that, there are two fundamental points about the matter that need to be understood. First, Sessions’ decision was far from the heavy-handed mandate it’s being mischaracterized as:
It’s a punt, essentially. Sessions is telling U.S. Attorneys that they’re no longer being instructed to deprioritize the enforcement of marijuana laws in states where it’s legal, but as to how vigorously those laws *should* be enforced — well, that’s up to them. They should use their own judgment. If the local U.S. Attorneys in Colorado decide they want to continue to look the other way at weed, it’s their call.
Second, pot isn’t the “victimless” vice people think it is. The Tides Center’s Schizophrenia.com lists thirty studies indicating a connection between pot and schizophrenia. According to the Netherlands’ Maastricht University, “THC [pot’s main psychoactive substance] positives, particularly at higher doses, are about three to seven times more likely to be responsible” for car crashes than factors unrelated to pot or alcohol. Other studies have linked marijuana to increased paranoia, anxiety, risk-taking, inability to focus, distorted sense of time, brain damage, and psychosis.
Accordingly, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration’s 2004 National Survey on Drug Use & Health found that the “percentages of youths engaging in delinquent behaviors” such as theft and assault steadily rose alongside “increasing frequency of marijuana use”; while in 2005 they reported a strong correlation between drug use and other crimes; in particular, “of adults who had been arrested for serious offenses in the past year, 46.5 percent had used marijuana in the past year compared with 10.0 percent of those who had not been arrested for any serious offense.”
Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer sure does have a curious definition of the word “protection.”