Donald Trump to lift legal threat to states that permit marijuana use

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. "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".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed the president's action.

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

In January, the Colorado Republican said he would block all DOJ nominations after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo that heightened the prospect of a federal marijuana crackdown in states that had legalized the substance.

Without consulting the DOJ, Trump went ahead and told Gardner that despite the memo, Colorado's marijuana industry will not be targeted.

Senator Gardner and other senators have been discussing legislation that would prevent federal government intervention in states that have legalized marijuana. "The statement that the senator put out today is accurate".

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"We can't take anything for granted. Trump changes his mind constantly, and Republican leadership is still in our way". "We need to protect the integrity of state-legal marijuana programs by acting now".

Colorado legalized medical marijuana use in 2010, voters approved recreational use of marijuana in 2012 and the first recreational sales began in 2014. But the Journal's sources say Trump wants the top Justice Department officials gone anyway: "Eventually, it will happen", a source said.

Matt Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates state control of marijuana laws, said this was a positive step in the short and long term - as a signal to Sessions to get more in line with Trump's previously-stated views on marijuana policy and as motivation for lawmakers to seriously tackle marijuana policy reform. "My office is committed to assisting the commission, local municipalities and our partners in law enforcement to implement the will of the voters effectively".

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.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission received more than 200 applications for retail pot shop licenses as of early April.

  • Adam Floyd