U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., held up a variety of Justice Department nominations over the Trump administration's decision to pull back a memo from then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole that had restricted federal enforcement of drug laws against marijuana.
Mr. Gardner said that as a result of Mr. Trump's assurances he'll end a blockade of Justice Department nominees.
"Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states' rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana", Mr. Gardner said in a statement on Friday.
Gardner said on Friday he received a commitment from Trump that the rescission "will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry".
The senator added that "President Trump has assured (him) that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states' rights issue once and for all".
Gardner said he's lifting his hold and working with colleagues on legislation that would protect marijuana operations in states that have legalised the drug. Recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2014. I might believe it if he ordered Sessions to reinstate the DOJ guidance on the matter that is consistent with this promise and orders the DEA and federal prosecutors not to investigate or prosecute anyone for a marijuana-related action that is legal in the state in which it took place.
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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".
Mr. Trump offered qualified support for legalization while on the presidential campaign trail, saying that medical marijuana "should happen" and that laws regarding recreational usage should be left in the hands of the states.
But Trump has held a sharply different view from Sessions on the issue.
"Clearly, we've expressed our frustration with the delay with a lot of our nominees and feel that too often, senators hijack a nominee for a policy solution", Short said.
Democratic US Representative Earl Blumenauer of OR, another state with permissive marijuana laws, expressed skepticism, saying, "Trump changes his mind constantly". The Washington Post reported in August that Sessions' DOJ was effectively hamstringing the agency's research efforts by making it harder to grow marijuana.