Donald Trump promises to protect states with legalized marijuana

Trump, Gardner Strike Marijuana Deal After Sessions Memo Fallout

Trump, Gardner Strike Marijuana Deal After Sessions Memo Fallout

"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".

Senator Cory Gardner, Trump's fellow Republican whose state has some of the most permissive marijuana laws in the country, had blocked Senate confirmation of Justice Department nominations to force the change.

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

In January, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidelines directing federal prosecutors not to take action against those who were compliant with state-sanctioned cannabis regulations. He said he's been working on bipartisan legislation with other senators that would protect marijuana-friendly states from federal government interference.

While more than half of the USA states have approved marijuana for medical or recreational use, it is still illegal under federal law.

President Donald Trump has promised to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry in states that have legalized the drug, a move that could lift a threat to the industry made by the USA attorney general just three months ago. The agreement came after Trump told Gardner the DOJ's rescission of the Cole Memo "will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry" and that the president would support federal legislative efforts "to fix this states' rights issue", according to a statement from Gardner's office.

But thanks to a phone call from Trump Wednesday, April 11, Gardner has lifted all of the holds and says he will refrain from doing so going forward.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Gardner's account was accurate and the president supported states' rights in the matter.

But Trump has held a sharply different view from Sessions on the issue.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A bill has not been finalized, but Gardner has been talking quietly with other senators about a legislative fix that would, in effect, make clear that the federal government can not interfere with states that have voted to legalize marijuana. "But at the same time, we're anxious to get our team at the Department of Justice".

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".

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) speaks at a town hall meeting in Lakewood, Colorado, U.S., August 15, 2017. He has opposed decriminalizing the substance as an elected official.

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