Trump and Gardner strike deal to avoid crackdown on Colorado marijuana

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

The Justice Department issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy in early January, in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed all USA attorneys "to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities".

The name refers to former Deputy Attorney General James Cole, whose memo explained the policy.

"This can not be another episode of @realDonaldTrump telling somebody whatever they want to hear, only to change directions later on", U.S. Sen. "Trump changes his mind constantly, and Republican leadership is still in our way". "Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states' rights issue once and for all".

According to Garner, the president said that the rescission of the Cole memo "will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry". "The president during his campaign said he supported states' rights and believed that a state's right approach was the best direction for decisions like this, and this is a continuation of that campaign promise that he laid out".

The Washington Post first reported the agreement with the White House. But Trump has also railed at the dangers of drug-related crime and suggested recreational marijuana should not be permitted. For instance, Sessions, an early supporter of candidate Trump, has been sharply criticized by the president in recent months over his decision to recuse himself from an investigation into alleged Moscow meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

During his campaign, Trump said states should be able to chart their own course on marijuana.

"We may now be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel", said Mason Tvert, who spearheaded a 2012 ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado.

Brown, a Democrat who has been vocal in her opposition to numerous Trump administration's policies, said in a written statement Friday that she would "appreciate" assurances from the president.

Marijuana has been fully legalized in eight states, and 24 states allow some form of marijuana use. "They have a lot of issues going on at this time in Colorado - several big problems", Trump said.

When he selected Sessions, a former federal prosecutor and US senator from Alabama, as his attorney general, marijuana supporters girded themselves for a crackdown.

Gardner hopes to introduce bipartisan legislation in Congress keeping the federal government from interfering in state marijuana markets.

Gardner said he was blindsided when Sessions made his announcement in January regarding pot prosecutions.

Senator Gardner placed a hold on Department of Justice nominees until he confirmed that Colorado's rights would not be infringed.

Sessions on January 4 rescinded a policy begun under Democratic former President Barack Obama that had eased enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that legalized it.

Gardner said he had earlier allowed some Justice Department nominations to proceed after having "positive discussions" with the department, and will now allow the remaining blocked nominations to move forward.



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