Inslee, Ferguson cautiously optimistic after Trump's 'promise' to protect states' marijuana rights

Trump and Colorado Senator Come to Agreement on Protection of Legalized Marijuana States

But Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded that guidance, drawing a rebuke from Gardner and other lawmakers whose states have legalized marijuana.

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said Friday that Trump made the pledge to him in a Wednesday night conversation.

In retaliation, " Gardner used his ability as a senator to stop consideration of any nominees to that division of Justice - yet another extraordinary measure for a senator to use contrary to an administration run by an individual member of the party.

While many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law, which created a conflict between federal and state law.

"Since the effort, President Trump has consistently supported rsquo countries &; rights to decide how best to strategy bud", Gardner said.

Trump's announcement centers on a DOJ document known as the Cole Memo, circulated during President Barack Obama's administration, which advised prosecutors to defer to state cannabis laws and, in states where marijuana is legalized, to focus on issues like preventing its distribution to minors and stopping sale revenues from going to criminal enterprises.

But the Journal's sources say Trump wants the top Justice Department officials gone anyway: "Eventually, it will happen", a source said.

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

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

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., listens as President Donald Trump speaks before hosting a lunch with Senate Republicans in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on December 5, 2017.

Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said Sessions' hiring did not reflect Trump's promise to protect state's rights.

During his campaign, Trump said states should be able to chart their own course on marijuana. I think it's up to the state's yeah, I'm a states person.

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

The New York Daily News reported Friday that the Justice Department had not been consulted before Trump made his phone call.

Thirty states have enacted statutes regulating the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Trump's backing is seen as key to getting a bill through Congress.

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. Sessions and also Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official supervising the Russian Federation probe that has been the aim of the ire of Trump has been met with by Gardner.

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