Trump signals DOJ taking more hands-off approach to marijuana prosecution

Trump signals DOJ taking more hands-off approach to marijuana prosecution

Cory Gardner of Colorado announced Friday that Trump made the marijuana pledge to him in a Wednesday night conversation.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner (CO) says that he has received a verbal commitment from President Donald Trump specifying that the administration will not take action to disrupt marijuana markets in states that legally regulate the substance.

Gardner has been pushing to reverse a decision made by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January that removed prohibitions that kept federal prosecutors from pursuing cases against people who were following pot laws in states such as Colorado that have legalized the drug.

Cory Gardner said Trump promised him over the phone Wednesday that a memo Sessions issued previous year won't affect his home state. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Some of Gardner's fellow GOP senators groused at the impact of the hold, and Gardner allowed some nominees to proceed in a "good-faith" gesture last month.

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

In exchange, Gardner said he has agreed to lift his remaining holds on Justice Department nominees. "My colleagues and I are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution that can pass Congress and head to the president's desk to deliver on his campaign position", Gardner said in a statement.




During the campaign, Trump said states should be able to chart their own course on marijuana.

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

The president has frequently criticized Sessions, particularly over his decision to recuse himself from oversight of the federal investigation into potential collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation. Replacements of any of those officials would require new nominations.

President Trump was reportedly so enraged by an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid of his personal attorney's office and hotel that he is now on the brink of firing Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general he appointed, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

That memo was replaced with a new order from Sessions which allows local USA attorneys to decide whether to prosecute these businesses under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which bans marijuana in all 50 states regardless of local law.

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.

The action came amid widespread speculation that Trump will remove Justice officials overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

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