News broke today that U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) received assurances from president Trump that he supports a ‘federalism-based legislative solution’ to fix the states’ rights issue when it comes to cannabis policy. Senator Gardner had pledged to block all Department of Justice (DOJ) nominees after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidance that provided some protections for cannabis businesses that were legal under state law.
The news seems to have been received with mixed reviews, with some in the cannabis industry celebrating it as a major victory, some taking a wait and see approach, and others pointing out that Jeff Sessions previously assured Senator Gardner that he would respect Colorado’s legalization law just to go back on the pledge via the rescinding of the Cole memo, which is why Senator Gardner vowed to block DOJ nominees to begin with.
Many others point to Trump’s history of saying one thing but not following through with it and/or changing his mind on the matter altogether, and often very quickly. Will Trump’s assurances prove to be similar to Jeff Sessions’ assurances? Will Trump wait until all the nominees that have been blocked from moving forward on their nominations have been approved then go back on his word? Will federal legislation ever even reach Trump’s desk for us to find out if he’s sincere or not about his assurances? Only time will tell.
Below is a press release from Senator Cory Gardner’s office that further discusses today’s news:
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today released the below statement regarding the current status of the Administration’s policy toward legal marijuana.
In response to the Department of Justice’s January 4th announcement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had rescinded the Cole Memorandum, Senator Gardner placed a hold on all DOJ nominees until he received a commitment that Colorado’s rights would not be infringed. After positive discussions with DOJ, Gardner lifted some of his holds but kept the rest in place until he received a full commitment that the guidelines of the Cole Memo would be respected.
“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” said Gardner. “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. Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all.
“Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice 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.”