Jars of marijuana are on display for sale at the Cali Gold Genetics booth during the High Times Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino, Calif. on April 23, 2017. California legislators are working to pass legislation to protect California cannabis businesses and consumers. (Richard Vogel, Associated Press)

California Assembly passes “marijuana sanctuary state” bill

The bill would prohibit state and local police from helping enforce federal anti-marijuana laws that conflict with state law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers have passed a bill to prohibit state and local police from helping enforce federal anti-marijuana laws that conflict with state law.

Californians voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November. Federal law still prohibits marijuana use.

The measure by Assembly Reggie Jones-Sawyer would shield Californians complying with state cannabis regulations, such as those legally operating shops selling marijuana, from being detained, reported or arrested by state or local police.

The Los Angeles Democrat’s bill comes amid uncertainty surrounding how President Donald Trump’s administration will deal with states that have legalized marijuana.

It has been compared to the so-called “sanctuary state” bill advancing through the Legislature that would prohibit police from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement.

“First it was immigration, now it’s enforce of our federal drug laws,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Republican from Huntington Beach who opposes the bill. “This is insanity.”

The measure is among hundreds of bills approved by the Legislature this week ahead of a Friday deadline for bills to pass out of the chamber where they originated. Lawmakers also passed bills to speed construction, generate money for subsidized housing, protect immigrants and alter the teacher tenure process.