On Sanctuary Cities…

I got lost, recently, on the topic of Sanctuary Cities.  With so much misinformation going around, I suppose it’s not such a difficult thing to do – get lost in the stream.  It started when I heard that a city in the bay area was considering declaring itself a sanctuary city for marijuana.  So far, the sanctuary tag has been used in ways I support.  But I began to wonder what happens if another state uses the ‘Sanctuary’ moniker to do something I don’t believe in.  What if, as an extreme example, Alabama decided to declare itself a ‘Sanctuary State’ for slavery or Texas declared itself a ‘Sanctuary State’ against Roe vs Wade?  Then Jeff Sessions, the impish Attorney General of the US, saved me by filing suit against California.  His suit insists that California has no legal right to make laws contrary to the Federal government.  It brought me back.  If you, too, might be feeling a bit lost regarding what the state is doing, allow me, please, to share my insights…

My mistake was seeing the ‘Sanctuary’ identifier as a thumb in the eye to the Federal government and that’s exactly what Sessions is arguing.  The thing is, that’s NOT what the sanctuary moniker is about.  The reason California is going to win this legal fight is because nobody is telling the Feds they can’t do their jobs.  The Sanctuary Cities are simply declaring that the Fed doesn’t get to use local (city or state) resources.  Everyone agrees; immigration is a Federal responsibility.  Nobody is trying to stop the Federal Government from using Federal resources to carry out a Federal job.  Because the state doesn’t agree with the tactics of the Feds, we’ve simply declared we’re not going to help.  In short, California’s sanctuary laws are not contrary to Federal law.

It’s the same with Berkeley’s marijuana sanctuary city designation.  Berkeley is merely stating that they won’t use local resources on cannabis cases.  But while writing this, I began to wonder about the anti-marijuana bent of the Federal government.  The Feds classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning, by definition, there’s no known medical benefit.  Yet, the Federal government grows and provides same to Glaucoma patients, clearly indicating a known medical benefit.  I wonder if one of my legal friends would enlighten me as to how the Feds ever got a conviction if their own actions demonstrate lack of belief in the basis for one of it’s laws.

I’ll tell you this: It’s a confusing world we live in but I’m feeling better about sanctuary cities…

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