Donald Trump promises to protect states with legalized marijuana

16 April, 2018, 01:49 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
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Cory Gardner, R-Colo., that his administration will not interfere in his state's marijuana industry, prompting Gardner to lift a hold on Department of Justice nominees that he had imposed in protest.

Without consulting the DOJ, Trump went ahead and told Gardner that despite the memo, Colorado's marijuana industry will not be targeted.

Gardner, whose home state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, reacted by promising to block all Justice Department nominations. Satisfied, the first-term senator is now backing down from his nominee blockade.

The announcement has potential implications for all states with or considering legalized marijuana, as Trump also said he would support legislative solutions to solidifying cannabis policy as a state-by-state issue, not a federal one. "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". Attorney General Jeff Sessions instead directed US attorneys to use prosecutorial discretion. During the presidential campaign, Trump said in an interview with KUSA-TV in Colorado that he said "it's up to the states" on the marijuana issue.

President Trump "does respect Colorado's right to decide for themselves how to best approach this issue", Mr.


Gardner held up about 20 Justice nominees, a significant number considering Senate Republicans and the White House have for months accused Democrats of slowing down consideration of other Trump picks.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, in response to the Justice Department's January memo, said she was committed to implementing the "will of the voters". The Washington Post reported in August that Sessions' DOJ was effectively hamstringing the agency's research efforts by making it harder to grow marijuana.

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.

Earlier this week former house speaker John A. Boehner said he is joining an advisory board for a cannabis company, Acreage Holdings.

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