Cory Garner Says Trump Supports States That Want To Legalize Weed

Clay Curtis
April 15, 2018

Former House Speaker John Boehner, a staunch anti-legalization lawmaker, made the decision to change course on cannabis after he joined the board of directors of Acreage Holdings, a New York-based cultivator that operates in 11 states.

"We have not had similar negotiations, but would appreciate President Trump extending his assurances to all states that he respects their rights to decide how to approach this issue, not just to Colorado", Brown said.

"Given how much larger the US cannabis market is in comparison to Canada or any other country this development is potentially game-changing for industry participants", he said in an emailed statement.

The announcement has potential implications for all states with or considering legalized marijuana, as Trump also said he would support legislative solutions to solidifying cannabis policy as a state-by-state issue, not a federal one.

The Washington Post first reported the agreement with the White House. "I'm a states person, it should be up to the states, absolutely", he told a television interviewer in Colorado that year.

Gardner hopes to introduce bipartisan legislation in Congress keeping the federal government from interfering in state marijuana markets. He said he would support that legislative effort. Ron Wyden and Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

As for marijuana itself, during the presidential race Trump said states should be able to decide their own pot policies.

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While more than half of the USA states have approved marijuana for medical or recreational use, it is still illegal under federal law.

However, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015, Trump said he supported medical marijuana but called recreational pot "bad". "They've got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado - some big problems", Trump said then.

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".

Gardner said he had earlier allowed some Justice Department nominations to proceed after having "positive discussions" with the department, and will now allow the remaining blocked nominations to move forward. In a statement, Gardner said Sessions was going back on his word and he pledged to put a hold on all DOJ nominees "until the attorney general lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation". On Friday, he said he was fully releasing his holds on Department of Justice nominations.

President Donald Trump has assured a top Senate Republican that he will allow states to pursue marijuana laws as they see fit, seemingly bringing an end to tense speculation that his administration could be preparing to mount a crackdown on state-legal cannabis operations.

Meanwhile, legislation to guard countries in which marijuana is authorized is now being drafted.

That guidance from the Obama administration set out guidelines for federal prosecutors in states that had legalized marijuana to focus their resources on larger-scale concerns such as trafficking as long as states met certain conditions regarding their regulation of the industry.

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