Trump promises GOP lawmaker to protect states' marijuana rights

Trump promises GOP lawmaker to protect states' marijuana rights

Senator Gardner placed a hold on Department of Justice nominees until he confirmed that Colorado's rights would not be infringed.

While many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law, which created a conflict between federal and state law.

Trump says he will back congressional efforts to protect states' rights to legal marijuana, according to a Republican senator.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said during Friday's press briefing that the president spoke with Gardner today and yesterday. "Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees".

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., listens as President Donald Trump speaks before hosting a lunch with Senate Republicans in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on December 5, 2017.

"We applaud this commitment from President Trump, who promised during his campaign to take a federalist approach with regard to marijuana policy", Altieri said in a statement.

In January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department had rescinded a series of Obama-era memos that had discouraged federal prosecution of marijuana operations operating in accordance with state law but in violation of federal law, which still considers marijuana a Schedule I substance. Satisfied, the first-term senator is now backing down from his nominee blockade.

Gardner said he and his colleagues are working on a bill that would prevent the federal government from interfering in states' marijuana legalization.

Andrew Lelling, the U.S. Attorney in MA, however, said in a January statement that he could not "provide assurances that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be immune from federal prosecution". During the presidential campaign, Trump said in an interview with KUSA-TV in Colorado that he said "it's up to the states" on the marijuana issue. "But at the same time, we're anxious to get our team at the Department of Justice".

The Washington Post first reported the agreement with the White House.

Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said Sessions' hiring did not reflect Trump's promise to protect state's rights.

Earlier this week former house speaker John A. Boehner said he is joining an advisory board for a cannabis company, Acreage Holdings.