In January 2018, Cory Gardner, Colorado’s junior senator (and Martin Sheen doppelgänger) made news by announcing that he would block Trump Administration Department of Justice appointments after Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo suggesting that U.S. Attorneys could consider prosecution of federal marijuana laws despite state legalization. In keeping his promise, Gardner has held up about 20 DOJ nominees proposed by the Administration.
Senator Gardner released the following statement today, April 13, 2018:
“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana. 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.”
White House legislative affairs director Marc Short confirmed on Friday that Trump “does respect Colorado’s right to decide for themselves how to best approach this issue.”
While no specific legislation has been announced, the Washington Post reports that “Gardner has been talking quietly with other senators about a legislative fix that would, in effect, make clear the federal government cannot interfere with states that have voted to legalize marijuana.”
Sessions has been on the outs with Trump since he recused himself from the Mueller Russia investigation. The Trump Administration’s willingness to back off from Sessions’ attempts to revise the Cole Memo suggests a further wedge between the President and his Attorney General.
Or not. Consult the oracle at Twitter for the latest.