Trump promises he will support congressional protection for state's that legalize marijuana
- Author: Megan Austin Apr 16, 2018,
Apr 16, 2018, 1:44
Although the decision didn't officially amount to an order to change course, it gave federal prosecutors in legal marijuana states the leeway to clamp down on cannabis.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called the statement from Gardner "accurate" during Friday's press briefing. Cory Gardner and the administration over Justice Department nominees.
Angry that USAG Sessions had reneged on his pledge to leave marijuana states alone, Senator Gardner promised to block all DOJ nominations, pending a resolution.
The US Justice Department under President Barack Obama created guardrails for federal prosecution of the sale and possession of cannabis, which remains illegal under federal law, and allowed legalised marijuana to flourish.
Cory Gardner said Trump promised him over the phone Wednesday that a memo Sessions issued a year ago won't affect his home state.
Gardner was angered in January when Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, revoked the Obama-era Cole memo that discouraged the federal government from interfering with states that had legalized marijuana. Satisfied, the first-term senator is now backing down from his nominee blockade.
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Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney in MA, however, said in a January statement that he could not "provide assurances that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be immune from federal prosecution".
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, in response to the Justice Department's January memo, said she was committed to implementing the "will of the voters".
Trump "does respect Colorado's right to decide for themselves how to best approach this issue", White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said in an interview Friday. "My colleagues and I are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution that can pass Congress and head to the president's desk to deliver on his campaign position", Gardner said in a statement. The Washington Post reported in August that Sessions' DOJ was effectively hamstringing the agency's research efforts by making it harder to grow marijuana.
Mr. Sessions, on the other hand, has been an outspoken opponent of state marijuana laws.