Donald Trump promises to protect states with legalized marijuana

Donald Trump promises to protect states with legalized marijuana

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.

Those worries should be largely alleviated - for now - after U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and the administration over Justice Department nominees. The memorandum was revoked by Sessions in January 4.

"Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states' rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana", Gardner told the Associated Press.

"Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice's rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry", Gardner said in a statement Friday. 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. 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. Gardner hopes to introduce bipartisan legislation keeping the federal government from interfering in state marijuana markets.

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The four-page memo was issued August 29, 2013, and updated guidelines for how the government would enforce the Controlled Substance Act, a federal law. If federal marijuana prosecutions in states that have legalized marijuana are banned by congressional legislation, the issue will no longer be a matter of executive discretion.

The memo starts by reminding its readers that Congress "has determined that marijuana is a risky drug" and its sale and distribution "is a serious crime" that's a source of money for "large-scale criminal enterprises". Sessions' memo reversed Obama-era policies on recrational pot and hinted at a federal crackdown.

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. States that have legalized recreational marijuana in recent years include such major jurisdictions as California, Colorado, Washington, and MA. Hickenlooper touted the tax revenue from marijuana businesses and talked about studies hushing fears that there would be an uptick in overall use. For comparison, wine sales in the United States were worth $60 billion a year ago, according to the Beverage Information and Insights Group. "We should hope for the best, but not take anything for granted". "I'm a states person, it should be up to the states, absolutely", he told one television interviewer in Colorado in 2016.

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