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Trump sets 2018 tone by going after California

By Lance Crayon (People's Daily)    09:40, January 09, 2018

For Democratic-controlled US states, the war is just getting started, and the first battle was announced just as 2018 was getting started.

News of US President Donald Trump’s unofficial war with the state of California went viral over the weekend. The so-called declaration stemmed from remarks made by California Senate leader Kevin de Leon in an interview with UK newspaper the Guardian.

De Leon was reacting to a week of bad news from Trump administration officials. On Thursday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was going to rescind a measure protecting the marijuana industry from federal prosecution.

On January 1, California officially became a “sanctuary state,” prohibiting state law enforcement from assisting DOJ agencies, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE acting director Thomas Homan said Wednesday during a televised interview, “California better hold on tight.” It wasn’t a good sign.

California has the 6th largest economy in the world. After voters approved of the new marijuana legislation last year, analysts predicted the state could expect to see almost $1 billion in sales for 2018. That’s extra tax revenue California Governor Gerry Brown (D) could use.

But instead of decorating dispensaries and spending money on wall designs, marijuana industry players are thinking what kind legal time they can afford, wondering if they’ll be made an example of by the FBI. Rest assured, someone will go first.

A plant that was once the scourge of the nation, a “gateway drug” that only led to ruin for all those who tried it, is slowly saving the nation one state at a time.

The good news is Sessions’ announcement will probably backfire. Congressional lawmakers on both sides have been watching Colorado and Washington, and the revenue those states have made has lead to inter-state development no other crop could have provided.

Rather than try and tackle the opioid epidemic, the septuagenarian duo are stuck in the 1980’s. Why not go after marijuana reform in D.C. where residents are allowed can legally grow marijuana at home.

Also on Thursday, US Interior Department announced a five-year plan that would auction off oil drilling sites in federal waters. This hasn’t been allowed since the early 1980’s.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told one reporter, “This is the beginning of an opening up.” It’s great news for energy companies and bad news for states along both coastlines. Real estate and tourism revenue will drop.

But even former US President Barack Obama signed off on drilling, but in the Arctic and out of sight from humanity. It was a reversal of his climate stance of the previous seven years.

It was a bold move by de Leon to alert those who previously weren’t aware of how Trump is affecting the state. De Leon will run for the US Senate in November where he will get to take on Trump face-to-face should he win.

Governor Brown said, “We’ll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action.” 2018 wasn’t supposed to start like this.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Liang Jun)

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