Trump promises he will support congressional protection for state's that legalize marijuana

Sessions has been a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization throughout his political career
Sessions has been a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization throughout his political career
Author

16 April, 2018

Cory Gardner won't block any more nominees to the U.S. Department of Justice over the issue of marijuana, the Colorado Republican announced Friday.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed the president's action.

Gardner said he had lifted some holds earlier this year after "positive discussions with the DOJ" but that with Trump's assurances, he would be lifting all remaining ones.

President Donald Trump has assured a top Senate Republican that he will allow states to pursue marijuana laws as they see fit, seemingly bringing an end to tense speculation that his administration could be preparing to mount a crackdown on state-legal cannabis operations.

"We applaud this commitment from President Trump, who promised during his campaign to take a federalist approach with regard to marijuana policy", Altieri said in a statement.

Mr. Gardner held up the nominees after Attorney-General Jeff Sessions rescinded an earlier Justice Department memo that shielded marijuana operations in states such as Colorado from enforcement of the federal ban on the drug.

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Bob Ferguson, the Democratic attorney general of Washington state, which permits marijuana use, said Gardner's announcement made him "cautiously optimistic" but until there is a formal agreement or law on the issue he stands ready to defend "Washington's well-regulated marijuana industry". Satisfied, the first-term senator is now backing down from his nominee blockade.

"We're always consulting Congress about issues, including states' rights, of which the president is a firm believer".

The January memo from Sessions stated that prosecutors should use their discretion in weighing whether charges were warranted, rather than abiding by the Obama-era guidance. In light of Trump's phone call, the senator said he has had a change of heart.

"Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states' rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana", Senator Gardner said in a statement. "So we're reluctant to reward that sort of behavior". The Washington Post reported in August that Sessions' DOJ was effectively hamstringing the agency's research efforts by making it harder to grow marijuana.

"The people of MA have voted to make marijuana legal under state law and the Cannabis Control Commission has been given the authority to establish a strong regulatory system that ensures public safety and allows for responsible sale and use of marijuana products", she said in a statement.


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