Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Trump promises he will support congressional protection for state's that legalize marijuana

Trump, Gardner Strike Marijuana Deal After Sessions Memo Fallout President Trump pledges to support states' rights to legal marijuana, in a blow to Attorney General Sessions
Sammy Stanley | 14 April, 2018, 09:59

Now, it appears, Grader's gamble has paid off as he announced that, "President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states' rights issue once and for all". Gardner was furious and argued it violated states' rights.

Gardner said on Friday he received a commitment from Trump that the rescission "will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry".

"We applaud this commitment from President Trump, who promised during his campaign to take a federalist approach with regard to marijuana policy", Altieri said in a statement.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner began blocking the Trump administration's nominees for the Department of Justice after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded protections for states with legalized marijuana.

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.

In retaliation, Gardner used his power as a senator to prevent consideration of any nominees for the Department of Justice - an extraordinary step for a senator to use against an administration run by another member of his party.

There are now at least three bills under consideration which propose removing marijuana from the CSA's federal banned list or would allow states to legalize without fear of federal prosecution: the Marijuana Justice Act, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act and the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act.

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One of Gardner's primary points of contention with Sessions' decision to bring the hammer down on states with legal cannabis markets was his assurance during his confirmation hearings that he "would leave states that had legalized marijuana alone".

The January memo from Sessions stated that prosecutors should use their discretion in weighing whether charges were warranted, rather than abiding by the Obama-era guidance. "They have a lot of issues going on at this time in Colorado - several big problems", Trump said. "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".

The co-directors of the 2012 Amendment 64 campaign that legalized marijuana for adults in Colorado, Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente, have issued statements in response to the news.

In February, Gardner lifted most of the holds he put on the Justice nominees the month before. "So we're reluctant to reward that sort of behavior". Legislation to protect states where marijuana is legal is still being drafted.

Senator 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".

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.

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