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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
readersupportednews.org
 
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.

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