Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Trump, Gardner Strike Marijuana Deal After Sessions Memo Fallout

Trump, Gardner Strike Marijuana Deal After Sessions Memo Fallout

Though pure speculation, Trump may be looking for a public-relations boost while embroiled in the ongoing investigation by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign to Trump's benefit.

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

Colorado, of course, blazed the recreational trail back in 2012, transforming the once black-market product into a billion-dollar industry and setting the groundwork for a slate of states that would soon follow suit - including California this year. "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".

The Justice Department under former president Barack Obama created guardrails for federal prosecution of the sale and possession of cannabis, which remains illegal under federal law, and allowed legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country.

"The president did speak with Senator Gardner yesterday and again today", Sanders told reporters Friday at the White House, adding, "the president is a firm believer" in states' rights.

Sessions has long criticized efforts to legalize marijuana. Cory Gardner announced Friday that he had struck a deal with the Department of Justice to keep guidelines outlined in the Cole Memorandum in place.

The January memo from Sessions stated that prosecutors should use their discretion in weighing whether charges were warranted, rather than abiding by the Obama-era guidance. Many traditional investors have shied away from pouring their capital into the industry over fears they'd be treated like drug traffickers, and a strong sign of support from Trump over Congressional action might provide the reassurance they're seeking.

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. But now he's dropped his stand after the President said he would support a bill that would protect states rights, even though that bill doesn't even exist yet?

There are now at least three bills under consideration which propose removing marijuana from the CSA's federal banned list or would allow states to legalize without fear of federal prosecution: the Marijuana Justice Act, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act and the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), the Washington Post reports.

"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.

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