Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump Promises to Lay Off States with Legal Marijuana

Trump Promises to Lay Off States with Legal Marijuana

During the 2016 campaign, Trump broke with his party and supported giving states the right to set their own policies on marijuana.

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.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that the president had made such commitments to Gardner, when asked at Friday's press briefing.

(AP) - 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.

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President Donald Trump will lift his administration's plans for a possible crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana after talks with a Colorado senator, the White House said on Friday, an action that undercuts U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "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", he said in a statement.

There's always been dissonance between federal drug laws and those of states that have legalized marijuana, but the January withdrawal of previous Justice Department guidance on the issue - known as the Cole memo - has prompted more uncertainty around the issue in recent months.

In doing so, Sessions, who has taken a hard line against marijuana, gave federal prosecutors wide latitude to pursue criminal charges. According to The Los Angeles Times, Trump did not inform Sessions in advance of the change in policy.

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. From the birth of our regulated medical marijuana market in 2010 to the opening of the adult-use market in 2014, we have sought to be the model for responsible cannabis regulation.

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"The President did speak with the senator", she said. But Gardner said Sessions had promised him he'd do nothing to interfere with Colorado's robust marijuana market. Trump's backing is seen as key to getting a bill through Congress.

Gardner said he had earlier allowed some Justice Department nominations to proceed after having "positive discussions" with the department, and will now allow the remaining blocked nominations to move forward.

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

Legislation to protect states where marijuana is legal is still being drafted.

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