By Theresa Mathew
On Friday, Massachusetts State Representatives Dave Rogers and Mike Connolly filed an unusual piece of legislation. Their bill, called the “Refusal of Compliance Act,” would prevent local and state authorities from handing over people who follow state cannabis laws to federal agents unless those agents have a warrant. (Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana in 2016.) The legislation has the same skeleton as many “sanctuary” immigration policies, which eliminate much of the voluntary cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents.
Massachusetts is already a sanctuary state in immigration terms. Now, it appears to be expanding that definition to include marijuana.
“Massachusetts voters have gone to the polls and expressed their support for what I’d call a sensible drug policy and an end to marijuana prohibition,” said Connolly. “I can appreciate the parallel between this and more typical sanctuary-state-type stuff. I think the comparison is pretty clear, to the extent that we are a state government responding to the will of our own voters and people in our community.”
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