Trump promises GOP lawmaker to protect states' marijuana rights

Different types of marijuana sit on display at Harborside marijuana dispensary Monday Jan. 1 2018 in Oakland Calif. Starting New Year's Day recreational marijuana can be sold legally in California

Different types of marijuana sit on display at Harborside marijuana dispensary Monday Jan. 1 2018 in Oakland Calif. Starting New Year's Day recreational marijuana can be sold legally in California

President Trump has promised Senator Cory Gardner that he will support efforts made to protect the states that have legalized marijuana. Gardner said Sessions had promised him that he would not go after the marijuana industry during his Senate confirmation. Sen. Gardner in a news release. Friday's decision stopped the blockade on the few who were left.

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.

On the night of April 11, 2018, Trump and Gardner had a telephone conversation in which the president contradicted the Sessions memo, telling the senator from Colorado - where marijuana has been legalized for adult-use since 2014 - would not be subjected to a federal crackdown on cannabis.

Gardner was furious at Sessions for his move - and critics, like Gardner, argued the move violates states' rights and causes uncertainty in legal marijuana industries.

Marijuana is legal for medicinal use in 29 states and for recreational use in eight.

On Friday, Gardner said he would lift all holds on Department of Justice nominees.

That memo was replaced with a new order from Sessions which allows local USA attorneys to decide whether to prosecute these businesses under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which bans marijuana in all 50 states regardless of local law.

This wouldn't be the first time Donald Trump has disagreed with Sessions on marijuana policy.

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"Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states' rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana", Gardner said in the statement.

"The President did speak with the senator", she said. "So we're reluctant to reward that sort of behavior".

Since January, Gardner has been holding up the approval of around 20 nominees and has treated the issue like a hostage negotiation, agreeing in February to allow a few nominees to be considered as a show of "good faith" to Sessions.

Maybe we shouldn't get too excited until there's an actual piece of legislation protecting marijuana states.

He said, "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".

In addition to Gardner's holds, DOJ has faced notable bipartisan pushback from Capitol Hill when it comes to marijuana. The Washington Post reported in August that Sessions' DOJ was effectively hamstringing the agency's research efforts by making it harder to grow marijuana.

High-profile elected officials in Colorado supported the state's right to continue selling recreational pot.
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