President Trump has pledged that the federal government won’t interfere with state laws that legalize marijuana, and says he’ll support legislative efforts to cement this.
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) says that he has received commitment from President Donald Trump that the administration will not take action to disrupt marijuana markets in states that legally regulate it, and because of this he will stop his blocking of all Department of Justice nominees.
“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” says Gardner. “Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.”
He added: “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. Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees.”
White House Press Secretary confirmed during today’s press briefing that Trump has spoken to Garnder about marijuana on several occasions, and that Garnder’s statements regarding Trump’s commitment to respect states rights is correct.
“We applaud this commitment from President Trump, who promised during his campaign to take a federalist approach with regard to marijuana policy”, says NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “That campaign promise was not reflected by Trump’s appointment of longtime marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General or any of the actions that Sessions has taken since becoming the nation’s top law enforcement officer.”
Altieri continues; “With the President now reiterating this commitment, it is time for Congress to do its part and swiftly move forward bipartisan legislation that explicitly provides states with the authority and autonomy to set their own marijuana policies absent the fear of federal incursion. Doing so would not only follow through one of Trump’s campaign promises, but it would codify the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans.”
In January, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidelines directing federal prosecutors not to take action against those who were compliant with state-sanctioned cannabis regulations. In response to that decision, Representative Gardner had vowed to block all nominees for Justice Department jobs.
On Friday, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said Trump “does respect Colorado’s right to decide for themselves how to best approach this issue.”
Representative Gardner reiterated that he and his colleagues “are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution (to the state/federal conflict) that can pass Congress and head to the President’s desk.”