California Attorney General Xavier Becerra threatened to file his 25th lawsuit against the Trump administration for the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to follow federal laws on marijuana enforcement.
Becerra went on TV over the weekend to threaten U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions with litigation over the Justice Department’s Jan. 4 rescission of a 2013 memo by Obama’s Dep. Attorney General James Cole directing all federal prosecutors to deem any state legalizing uses of marijuana as a basis for not expending any prosecutorial resources.
Becerra has filed 24 lawsuits on behalf of California’s progressive Democrats against the Trump administration regarding 17 different subject matters over the last 11 months. Becerra has continually argued that Californians would suffer “disproportionate harm” from any federal effortss to revise Obamacare, crack down on illegal immigration, or roll back environmental regulations.
Becerra’s lawsuits are usually aimed at maintaining the state’s spectacular federal cash flow. With a population of 39.25 million, including 10 million immigrants, California gamed Obamacare and immigration enforcement to spike Medicaid enrollment to 13,465,532, or 34 percent of state’s population, according to Medicaid’s website. Despite having less than 12 percent of the nation’s population, California pocketed 19.6 percent of all Medicaid cash. That equaled $110.838 billion in 2016 and could hit $150 billion by 2020.
Breitbart News reported that California Treasurer John Chiang estimated that the legal marijuana boom that is expected to grow bigger and faster than the Dot-Com boom, generating state and local cannabis taxes and fees of $1 billion this year and $3 billion in 2021.
Becerra told NBC News that he has requested meetings with the leadership of all four of the Justice Department’s regional U.S. Attorneys responsible for enforcing federal law to understand their willingness to enforce federal drug laws classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance that Congress and the Obama administration’s U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency twice refused to change in late 2016.
Sessions’s new marijuana enforcement memo emphasized that in addition to substantial federal penalties for cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana; “these activities also may serve as the basis for the prosecution of other crimes, such as those prohibited by the money laundering statutes, and unlicensed money transmitter statute, and Bank Secrecy Act.”
Becerra knows that marijuana is California’s top agricultural product, with an annual production of 13.5 million pounds, and that 81 percent is exported out of state. Becerra is not just standing up for state’s rights; he is also trying to collect taxes on the black market.
Becerra told NBC, “I would encourage everyone in the state of California including the 400 people who have now gotten a license and registered to partake in our new industry to do it the right way.”