"I believe in states' rights; and the other day, the president notified me that he would be supporting a states' rights approach when it comes to legalized marijuana", Gardner said on "The Daily Briefing" Friday. "Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees".
Matt Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates state control of marijuana laws, said this was a positive step in the short and long term - as a signal to Sessions to get more in line with Trump's previously-stated views on marijuana policy and as motivation for lawmakers to seriously tackle marijuana policy reform.
Cory Gardner said Trump promised him over the phone Wednesday that a memo Sessions issued previous year won't affect his home state. In a phone call earlier this week, Trump assured Gardner that Colorado's legal marijuana industry is safe from federal interference, ending a standoff between the senator and the U.S. Department of Justice over states' rights to legalize the plant.
And in January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo which suggested that the federal government would not intervene in states where the drug is legal and said it would be up to federal prosecutors to decide how aggressively to enforce the law.
"Given how much larger the USA cannabis market is in comparison to Canada or any other country this development is potentially game-changing for industry participants", he said in an emailed statement.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Gardner's account was accurate and the president supported states' rights in the matter.More news: Syria: rebels release prisoners after chemical attack
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President Trump has promised Senator Cory Gardner that he will support efforts made to protect the states that have legalized marijuana. "We hope the president - who doesn't want to be known as the "Pot President" - will reverse course soon", said Kevin Sabet, founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.
Sen. Cory Gardner was encouraged by Trump's announcement.. "I'm a states person, it should be up to the states, absolutely", he told one television interviewer in Colorado in 2016.
Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., wrote to Sessions this week, urging him to back off efforts to curtail medical marijuana research at the Drug Enforcement Administration. Gardner has met with Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official overseeing the Russian Federation probe who has been the target of Trump's ire.
Congressman Jared Polis, who introduced a bill in March 2017 to de-schedule marijuana as a federally illegal substance, worked with Gardner and state representatives Ed Perlmutter and Diana DeGette to create a spending-bill amendment to restrict the DOJ from interfering with Colorado's legal pot industry.
Maybe we shouldn't get too excited until there's an actual piece of legislation protecting marijuana states.
The action came amid widespread speculation that Trump will remove Justice officials overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.