Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sessions's Unwise Move on Marijuana May Backfire

Jeff Sessions. (photo: AP)
Jeff Sessions. (photo: AP)

By The Washington Post Editorial Board
18 January 18
ttorney General Jeff Sessions is pushing the federal government back into marijuana enforcement. This is an unwise and unnecessary move that may divert resources from more serious problems — and end up backfiring on those who want to restrain pot use.

Mr. Sessions rescinded Thursday a policy that kept the federal government largely out of the way of states that have legalized marijuana. A majority of states have now legalized it in some form. Maryland just began permitting medical marijuana.

California just legalized recreational marijuana, and Vermont is near to doing so.

Mr. Sessions’s move upended a tenuous deal the Obama administration made with legalization states: keep pot out of minors’ hands and help combat trafficking, and federal authorities will focus on bigger priorities. This policy allowed a handful of states room to experiment with unencumbered legalization, which would have made the consequences clearer to others.

Mr. Sessions’s decision is unlikely to result in arrests of small-time marijuana users. But it will chill the growth of the aboveboard weed economy by deterring banks and other institutions from participating. From there, U.S. attorneys across the country will decide whether to crack down, and on whom — a few big distributors, perhaps, or a few local grow shops, too. In states with complex regulations on marijuana growing, testing and selling, some operations may move back underground rather than provide documentation to state authorities that federal prosecutors might later use against them.

Mr. Sessions’s move is counterproductive even for skeptics of legalization, whose only defense against a growing tide of public opinion would be evidence that full legalization has significant negative consequences. Mr. Sessions’s move diminishes the possibility of drawing lessons — including cautionary ones — from the examples of legalization states. Similarly, Mr. Sessions has made it harder to learn how to regulate the legitimate weed economy, if that is the path the country chooses.

More concerning is the prospect that U.S. attorneys will begin diverting limited federal resources into anti-pot campaigns from far more pressing matters. As Mr. Sessions himself said this past November, the nation is experiencing “the deadliest drug crisis in American history.” That would be the opioid epidemic, which, Mr. Sessions noted, claimed some 64,000 lives in 2016. Marijuana simply does not pose the same threat, and the attorney general should have avoided any suggestion that it requires more attention right now.

Mr. Sessions’s decision will spur calls for Congress to finally change federal law. That is warranted, but lawmakers should be wary of swinging too far in the opposite direction. As a recent National Academies of Science review found, experts still know relatively little about marijuana’s health effects. It makes no sense to lock up small-time marijuana users, but it may not make sense to move quickly to national legalization. Rather, Congress should decriminalize marijuana use, then await more information.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Silence is complicity, and Republican leaders are silent on Trump's racist 'shithole' comments

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 06: US President Donald Trump speaks as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (L) and House Speaker Paul Ryan listen during a meeting with House and Senate leadership  in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, on June 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and Paul Ryan
Donald Trump’s racist “shithole” comments spurred House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to … continue their tradition of looking the other way on Trump’s worst offenses. Expect them at some point to be asked directly about it and to mumble something about how it’s “disappointing” or “inappropriate” or words of that nature, but in the 16 or so hours after Trump’s remarks became public, as other lawmakers responded, Ryan and McConnell were silent.

No surprise there. It was crickets from Ryan and McConnell after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Ryan and McConnell condemned white supremacy after Trump called the white supremacists of Charlottesville “very fine people,” but they failed to say Trump's name. And on and on.

Ryan and McConnell distance themselves from Trump when their backs are against the wall, but always after a delay that shows their reluctance and in mealymouthed terms. Enough for the pundits to keep treating them as serious men who are not themselves crude racists, but not so much as to offend Trump or his base too much.

Once again, “shithole” shows us Republicans who are retiring, or running again in districts Hillary Clinton won, or hoping someday to run for president criticizing Trump while most of the party remains silent or, Steve King-style, offers up support.

Republicans own this. They own every word out of Donald Trump’s mouth as long as they continue to protect him and enact his agenda.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Trump's interview with the Wall Street Journal is absolutely, thoroughly, unbelievably NUTS

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09:  U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks before signing an executive order supporting veterans as they transition from military to civilian life in the Oval Office at the White House January 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin emphasized that the executive order will work to help further prevent veterans suicide.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

You’ve heard of a stream of consciousness? This isn’t one of those. Donald Trump’s unabridged interview with the Wall Street Journal is a piece of surrealistic, wibbly, wobbly … word stuff. Like a conversation as imagined by Hieronymus Bosch; every little nook and cranny is filled with another disconnected phrase, an out of the blue flash of narcissism, a jaw-dropping expression of paranoia. It’s a conversation from which it’s almost impossible to draw reasonable excerpts, because it only really comes alive when you can see it in the terrifying whole. This is The Iliad of self-delusion. A primal scream of egotism. The Bayeux Tapestry of What. The. Hell.

It’s the kind of speech a Ritalin-soaked ferret might deliver … if he fell into a heap of uncut cocaine. And though any effort to extract anything that seems like a coherent bit of dialog is doomed to failure … Here. Just …. Look.
Mr. Trump:  I have relationships with people, I think you people are surprised.
WSJ: Just to be clear, you haven’t spoken to the North Korean leader, I mean when you say a relationship with Korea—
Mr. Trump: I don’t want to comment on it—I don’t want to comment, I’m not saying I have or I haven’t. But I just don’t—
WSJ: Some people would see your tweets, which are sometimes combative towards Kim Jong Un...
Mr. Trump:  Sure, you see that a lot with me and then all of a sudden somebody’s my best friend. I could give you 20 examples. You give me 30. I’m a very flexible person.
“I could give you 20 examples. You give me 30. I’m a very flexible person.” I’m telling you that Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs could not have crafted that with a bottle of tequila and a major stroke. What does it mean, man? What does it mean? 

And that’s before Trump gets to America’s vicious rivers.

The only way to deal with the rest of the interview is to break it into … episodes. Not episodes like on television. Episodes. Like … somewhere between fits and seizures.

Donald Trump and the very bad immigrant

Mr. Trump: This person on the west side that killed eight people and badly, you heard me say yesterday, badly, badly wounded about 12. I mean people losing arms and legs—nobody even talks about that. But they say killed eight and that’s it. I mean you have people—ones walking around without—missing two legs. And the person was running to stay in shape and now he’s missing two legs. Think of it.
But this person, who should’ve never been allowed into this country, came in through the lottery. When they interviewed his neighborhood, they say he was horrible. You’d say good morning to him and he’d start cursing at you. They didn’t want him so they sent him through the lottery, you know, congratulations United States.

Donald Trump and the 10 ways to pay

Mr. Trump: Let me, let me tell you something about the wall. So I’ve always said we have to have a wall. I’ve also said Mexico’s got to pay for it—sometimes you know on occasion, I’d add who’s going to pay for it? Mexico. Well they will pay for it, OK? There are many forms of payment. I could name 10 right now. There are many forms of payment, I didn’t say how.

Donald Trump and the “Sarah, will you make that clear, please”

Mr. Trump: The other thing … so the wall. The wall’s never meant to be 2100 miles long. We have mountains that are far better than a wall, we have violent rivers that nobody goes near, we have areas …. But, you don’t need a wall where you have a natural barrier that’s far greater than any wall you could build, OK? Because somebody said oh, he’s going to make the wall smaller. I’m not going to make it smaller the wall was always going to be a wall where we needed it. And there are some areas that are far greater than any wall we could build. So, maybe some day somebody could make that clear …
Sarah, will you make that clear please? 

Donald Trump and how you need to see through the wall

Mr. Trump: If you have a wall this thick and it’s solid concrete from ground to 32 feet high which is a high wall, much higher than people planned. You go 32 feet up and you don’t know who’s over here. You’re here, you’ve got the wall and there’s some other people here.
WSJ: Yes.
Mr. Trump: If you don’t know who’s there, you’ve got a problem.
WSJ: Well, the other day after your meeting when you talked about wanting to see a deal from Congress. In particular, I’m thinking of the tweets from Ann Coulter. You know, a straight – I mean, they want a wall. Do you feel that you have some room to negotiate here with your own base, when it comes to the wall?
Mr. Trump: I don’t have to because the wall is the same wall I’ve always talked about. I can understand why I have to have see-through.

Donald Trump and … no, you really, really need to see through the damn wall

Mr. Trump: If I’m standing here, I want to be able to see 200 yards out. I want to be able to see, I don’t want to have a piece of concrete that I can’t see.
WSJ: Yes.
Mr. Trump: Now on the wall we have cameras and we have highly sophisticated equipment, but the wall – the Border Patrol tells me the other way’s more expensive. It’s not less expensive. We have to have vision through the wall.
WSJ: But…
Mr. Trump: This is going to be state of the art wall; this will be state of the art. But, I can fully understand why you’d have to have vision. I’d like to be able to see three or four hundred yards instead of we’re at a wall we have no idea who’s on the other side. Does this make sense or am I just wasting my time?
Hope Hicks: It’s what you’ve always talked; it’s consistent with what you’ve always said.
Mr. Trump: No, this is the same. I hope I don’t read tomorrow, Trump is going to make the wall, I always said, we need a wall.

Donald Trump and the very big deal

Mr. Trump: And I’m getting a lot of questions like we want to move to Wisconsin, we wanted – like Wisconsin, I have Foxconn coming to Wisconsin; that’s my deal. You know the head of Foxconn, you know he’s a friend of mine. He’s still only moving there because of me. And the governor has been fantastic.
The governor of Wisconsin has been fantastic in their presentations and everything else. But I’m the one who got them to look at it. 

Donald Trump and the man whose name we never say (but it’s Michael Wolff)

Mr. Trump: The man with the three hour interview, he spent three hours – the man who said he spent three hours in the Oval Office who I never met once in the White House. OK, you know – despite all these characters that are – that’s something you can talk about, is the libel laws, because we’ve got to increase our libel laws so when people make misstatements, like yourselves, but when people make misstatements somebody has some, you know, recourse.

Donald Trump and why NBC hates me

Mr. Trump: Look, nobody gets more false press than I do. Nobody – nobody gets – nobody comes close. In history – in the history of this country nobody’s gotten more false press and you guys all know it.
WSJ: Why – why do you think that is?
Mr. Trump: They dislike me, the liberal media dislikes me. I mean I watch people – I was always the best at what I did, I was the – I was, you know, I went to the – I went to the Wharton School of Finance, did well. I went out, I -- I started in Brooklyn, in a Brooklyn office with my father, I became one of the most successful real estate developers, one of the most successful business people. I created maybe the greatest brand.
I then go into, in addition to that, part time, like five percent a week, I open up a television show. As you know, the Apprentice on many evenings was the number one show on all of television, a tremendous success. It went on for 12 years, a tremendous success. They wanted to sign me for another three years and I said, no, I can’t do that.
That’s one of the reasons NBC hates me so much. NBC hates me so much they wanted – they were desperate to sign me for – for three more years.

Donald Trump and the Greatest Statement Ever By Anyone

Mr. Trump: Just – and so – so I was successful, successful, successful. I was always the best athlete, people don’t know that. But I was successful at everything I ever did and then I run for president, first time -- first time, not three times, not six times. I ran for president first time and lo and behold, I win. And then people say oh, is he a smart person? I’m smarter than all of them put together, but they can’t admit it. They had a bad year.

Donald Trump says “Steve” many times

Mr. Trump: I mean I could take you around to the back and I could show you many people, If you don’t – and some of them you wouldn’t know their names so ... Steve was – I always liked Steve, but Steve became very ineffective because he was such a lightning rod. And Steve, in the end I fired Steve.
WSJ: Is that relationship permanently broken between you and Steve?
Mr. Trump: You never know, you know again, the word – I don’t know what the word permanent means, OK? I never know what the word permanent means. We’ll see what happens, but Steve had nothing to do with my win. Well, certainly very little.

Donald Trump and the winning of every single poll ever

Mr. Trump: Don’t forget, I had vanquished 17 governors, senators plus a couple of very smart people, like Ben and Carly and others. I had vanquished them easily – easily. I won every debate based on the polls.
You know, they do polls – seven or eight polls. Time Magazine – Time Magazine’s not a fan of mine. Drudge, Time Magazine they have seven polls. I don’t think, I may be wrong – I don’t think you’ll find one poll that I ever lost in any of the 14, 15 debates. Including the presidential debate, you know with her, the three. Steve Bannon, I just wish him well…

Donald Trump and Adam Schiff’s illegal fare-the well

Mr. Trump: No, I think -- I just want them to -- look, all I see of these Democrats, like Adam Schiff -- it’s all he does, he’ll have a meeting, and then he’ll leave, and he’ll call up the meeting, and then I’ll have a meeting and then he’ll leave. He left meetings where people are being interviewed, and then all of a sudden they say a story about what’s going on inside the meetings.
It’s probably illegal, what he’s doing. But the Democrats know it’s a hoax. It’s an excuse for them having lost the election. They know it’s a hoax. And yet, they are milking it to a fare-thee-well and I think the Republicans-- although I will say that over the last month the Republicans have started to get very tough. Because they realize there’s no collusion whatsoever. There’s no collusion.

Donald Trump and the horrible treason

Mr. Trump: What went on with the FBI, where a man is tweeting to his lover that if she loses, we’ll essentially go back to the -- we’ll go to the insurance policy, which is -- if they lose, we’ll go to phase 2, and we’ll get this guy out of office.
I mean, this is the FBI we’re talking about. I think that is -- that is treason. See, that’s treason right there.
WSJ: Does any of that make you less...
Mr. Trump: By the way, that’s a treasonous act. What he tweeted to his lover is a treasonous act.

Donald Trump and lying leaker James Comey

Mr. Trump: How could there be obstruction on firing Comey? When the man who’s in charge of it wrote a letter that was far stronger than anything I would have written. He was in charge -- Deputy Rosenstein. He wrote a letter that’s far stronger than even what I say.
And here’s another thing. A friend of mine brought this up the other day. Comey. Comey has proven to be a liar and a leaker. Proven. He tries to act like a choir boy. What he did with Hillary Clinton is outrageous. He saved her life, because all of those charges -- I call it “Comey one, two, and three,” all of those charges and Comey won, she was guilty of. She should have been taken out of the campaign and been on trial.

Donald Trump and the we’re not done talking about James Comey

Mr. Trump: When he announced the Hillary Clinton fiasco where she was guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty and then where they did the interview with no tape recorder, with no swearing in, with no this, with no that – you know the story.
But take a look at all of these people that became critics of my firing, they all wanted him fired. And they wanted him fired until I said, “he’s fired.” But the deputy, Rosenstein, who is in charge, he wrote a letter that was possibly or probably stronger than anything I would have written or did write.

Donald Trump and hey, did I say we could stop talking about Comey?

Mr. Trump: The other thing is, everybody wanted Comey fired. And, another thing, and this is just a few, Comey has proven to be a leaker and a liar and, if anything, I should get credit for firing him because it turned out I was right because many things have been found out about Comey that – I mean, I should be given credit for having great insight because many things have been found out about Comey that would never have been found out if I didn’t fire him.

Donald Trump and the vicious rivers

Mr. Trump:  So – I – I think we have a very good chance of making a deal on DACA, I would like to be able to do it; I think that the people that are Trump supporters agree with me on it. I would never do it without a wall, the wall is the wall and it’s the same wall that we’re always talking about. It’s – you know, wherever we need, we don’t need it where you have mountains; you don’t need it where you have rivers and – you know, vicious rivers.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Trump's lawyers are frantic not just over the idea of letting Mueller talk to Trump—it's the topic

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08:  Robert S. Mueller III, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), speaks at the International Conference on Cyber Security (ICCS) on August 8, 2013 in New York City. The ICCS, which is co-hosted by Fordham University and the FBI, is held every 18 months; more than 25 countries are represented at this year's conference.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Leaving Donald Trump in a room with any prosecutor is a nightmare for his legal team.
No lawyer worth his or her salt would let a client like Trump go in for an interview. A person with knowledge of the Mueller investigation who asked to remain anonymous told me that Trump is the kind of client who would “humiliate you and destroy you because he just can’t follow directions.”
But it’s not just Trump’s reality-free rambling that has Trump’s team looking for a way to find some alternative, any alternative, to a face-to-face meeting between Trump and Mueller. It’s the topic of the proposed discussion that really has them chewing off their own limbs.
One person familiar with the discussions said Mr. Mueller appeared most interested in asking questions about the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, and the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey — not the broader question of possible collusion with Russia. Those topics signal an interest in whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice. 
Mueller wants to ask Trump about his attempts to obstruct the investigation. It’s the the kind of question where Trump has previously had only one response — obstruct harder. Questioning Trump on the general topic of the Russia investigation leaves Trump room to rail, complain, and profess his ignorance. Asking him about the actions he’s personally taken to fire Comey, draft memos about ‘adoption,’ and heap dirt on the FBI gives Trump very little room to run.

And this time, his lawyers won’t be able to jump in front of the train.

When Trump made a tweet openly admitting that he had knowledge of Flynn’s lying to the FBI, one of his legal team flung himself onto the resulting dumpster fire.

While Trump denied pressuring Comey, one of his lawyers said he drafted the tweet in question and made a mistake. Attorney John Dowd told USA TODAY that Trump did not know for sure Flynn had lied to the FBI, only that the Justice Department had raised questions about his comments regarding his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The idea that one of Trump’s lawyers stepped in to make this clear confession of obstruction is itself one of the most blatant lies of the whole affair. And when Dowd was caught out in his lie about emailing the proposed tweet, he lied again by claiming he’d made a phone call to dictate the tweet.

But even though Donald Trump’s lawyers are willing to take actions that might easily get them disbarred — if not jailed — in order to save their client, a real live meeting with Mueller won’t allow much room for their protection.

Indeed, even Trump’s own star-studded legal team seems acutely aware that allowing Trump to be interviewed by the special counsel is a recipe for disaster. In all the reporting about Mueller’s interest in interviewing Trump, there’s an unease among the sources, all of whom are almost certainly lawyers, in the very thought of Trump being alone in a room with Mueller.
The legal team is doing what they can to limit the scope and length of any interview, and it’s likely that Mueller will agree to keep this discussion relatively brief — with the distinct possibility of more discussions in the future. Those later discussions could include being deposed at length for the Grand Jury, a process that had Bill Clinton answering live questions, on camera, for almost five hours. The charges that got Clinton impeached in the House — perjury and obstruction. That’s it. Not one thing about any “underlying crime.”

Of course, Trump could fess up. A decade ago, when Trump was deposed in a defamation case, he admitted to lying 30 times.

Trump had brought it on himself. He had sued a reporter, accusing him of being reckless and dishonest in a book that raised questions about Trump’s net worth. The reporter’s attorneys turned the tables and brought Trump in for a deposition.
For two straight days, they asked Trump question after question that touched on the same theme: Trump’s honesty.
...Thirty times, they caught him.
But to be honest this time, Trump would be admitting to obstruction. Even if Trump behaves himself sensibly, there seems no way that his statements won’t end up confirming that he tried, on multiple occasions, to press the FBI into dropping one or more aspects of their investigation. The whole thing seems like sending a balloon into a needle factory.

… Trump would presumably be questioned about his intent and purpose in undertaking the following actions, which have been unearthed by dogged reporting: Directing his White House counsel to urge his attorney general not to recuse himself so that he could continue to protect Trump from the probe. Demanding Comey’s loyalty and pressing him to drop the probe into Flynn. Firing Comey when that loyalty was not forthcoming. Writing an unsent letter firing Comey that reportedly mentioned the Russia probe in the first sentence, then demanding a memo from the deputy attorney general that cited Comey’s treatment of Hillary Clinton’s emails, which Trump cited as a pretext for the firing before admitting that the Russia probe was, indeed, the motivation, something he boasted about to Russian visitors.
Admitting all that is the good outcome. The best that Trump’s team can hope for.

Plus there’s the Trump Tower meeting. Trump personally composed an excuse for that meeting that he knew not to be true, and distributed that lie from Air Force One. The things he did to and about Comey might be excusable if his team can generate some plausible way in which Trump was not motivated by pure self interest. The note he created to protect everyone involved in that meeting — which includes, at a minimum, Donald Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Ivanka — isn’t forgivable, not under any definition of the presidential role.

At the other end, Trump can deny his role in pressuring Comey, forcing the FBI director out, or crafting an excuse for his campaign team’s meeting with Russian representatives. That would put Trump in a position not just for more obstruction charges, but compound them with perjury.

Obstruction and perjury. Sound familiar?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cartoon: The very stable G.E.N.I.U.S. president


Infamous Neo-Nazi Website Praises Trump's Racist Remarks

White supremacists rallying in Washington, D.C. (photo: Andrew Stefan/RSN)
White supremacists rallying in Washington, D.C. (photo: Andrew Stefan/RSN)

By Luke Barnes, ThinkProgress
13 January 18

The Nazis think Trump is 'more or less on the same page as us'.

he Daily Stormer, one of the world’s largest neo-Nazi websites, praised Donald Trump for referring to Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries as “shitholes,” saying it showed that the President aligned with them on race and immigration.

“[Trump’s comments are] encouraging and refreshing,” wrote Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi editor of the Daily Stormer. “It indicates Trump is more or less on the same page as us with regards to race and immigration…[It] is a huge leap from where the rest of the entirety of the political system in this country is at.”

“I think it is clear that Trump’s ideal America the one he grew up with in the 1950s,” Anglin added. “And the closer we get to that, the closer we are to our own goals of a white race-state.”

White supremacists have been lining up to praise Trump’s “shithole” remarks ever since they were first reported by the Washington Post on Thursday afternoon. Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke tweeted that Trump restored love with his supporters by saying “blunt but truthful things.“

White nationalist leader Richard Spencer said that Haiti was a “potentially beautiful and productive country” but one “filled with shithole people.” Chris Cantwell, the crying Nazi who has been charged with assaulting counter-protestors at August’s Unite the Right rally, also praised Trump on the far-right friendly social network Gab.

Trump has been praised before by the Daily Stormer, and was given their official endorsement for presidency during the 2016 election. Anglin said that white men should “vote for the first time in our lives for the one man who actually represents our interests”. After Trump’s electoral victory in November, Anglin urged his followers to troll liberals and Hillary Clinton supporters to get them to commit suicide.

After the Unite the Right rally in August the Daily Stormer had its domain registration cancelled by web hosting service GoDaddy, as part of a broader campaign by tech companies to crack down on online hate. Since then the site has bounced around the world, disappearing and re-appearing on domain names from Iceland, Catalunya and, ironically enough, the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

Meanwhile Andrew Anglin has himself been in hiding to avoid being served papers over the several lawsuits against him. He claims to be in Nigeria but is believed by lawyers to be hunkered down somewhere in Ohio.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

GOP Senator Threatens to Block Trump Nominees Unless Sessions Reverses Marijuana Decision

Cory Gardner (R-CO) talks with a reporter. (photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Cory Gardner (R-CO) talks with a reporter. (photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By Max Greenwood, The Hill
12 January 18
en. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) threatened on Thursday to start holding up the confirmation process for White House Justice Department nominees unless Attorney General Jeff Sessions reverses a decision to roll back a policy allowing legalized recreational use of marijuana in some states.

Gardner said in a series of tweets that Sessions had told him before he was confirmed by the Senate that he would not change an Obama-era policy that discouraged federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana-related offenses in states where the substance had been legalized. Colorado is one of those states.

This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states.

I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation.
Sessions moved on Thursday to roll back the so-called Cole memo, written by former U.S. Attorney General James Cole, which effectively gave states that chose to legalize marijuana the leeway to do so. So far, six states have legalized recreational use of the substance, though it remains federally prohibited.

Gardner's home state, Colorado, was among the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2012.

Sessions has been a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization. But in a 2016 interview with 9News in Denver, then-candidate Donald Trump said that he would not support using federal power to crack down on marijuana legalization, adding that the issue should be left to the states. 

The Justice Department's reversal of the Cole memo on Thursday came three days after California's new law allowing recreational marijuana use went into effect.