Berkeley declares it's a sanctuary city for marijuana users - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Berkeley declares it's a sanctuary city for marijuana users

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File). FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2017 file photo, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin poses for photos in his office while being interviewed in Berkeley, Calif. Berkeley on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, declared itself a sanctuary city for marij... (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File). FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2017 file photo, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin poses for photos in his office while being interviewed in Berkeley, Calif. Berkeley on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, declared itself a sanctuary city for marij...
(AP Photo/File). FILE - In this May 23, 1966, file photo, people roll joints at a marijuana party near the University of California at Berkeley campus in Berkeley, Calif. Berkeley on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, declared itself a sanctuary city for marijuan... (AP Photo/File). FILE - In this May 23, 1966, file photo, people roll joints at a marijuana party near the University of California at Berkeley campus in Berkeley, Calif. Berkeley on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, declared itself a sanctuary city for marijuan...

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Berkeley has declared itself a sanctuary city for marijuana users, a largely symbolic move that cements a policy prohibiting city employees from assisting federal officials in the enforcement of federal marijuana laws.

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of the resolution proposed by Mayor Jesse Arreguin and two city councilmembers.

"I believe we can balance public safety and resisting the Trump administration," Arreguin said.

In a tweet after the vote, Arreguin said the move was a direct response to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "misguided crackdown on our democratic decision to legalize recreational cannabis."

Sessions said last month it would be up to U.S. prosecutors in states where pot is legal to decide which marijuana cases they pursue. And while federal prosecutors have not acted against legal marijuana businesses, several states are considering so-called sanctuary status to protect them.

The measure in the famously liberal city does not prevent local officials from assisting federal agents in other drug-related crimes, Arreguin said.

Californians voted in November 2016 to legalize recreational marijuana and abolish a host of pot-related crimes, but using or possessing marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

California, Alaska, Massachusetts and Washington are considering bills that would bar using state resources in any federal efforts against businesses that are in compliance with state marijuana states.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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