Republican Senator Cory Gardner began blocking the Trump administration's nominees for the Department of Justice after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded protections for states with legalized marijuana. But Gardner is now dropping those blocks after receiving an agreement from the president to respect state cannabis laws.
Gardner said in a phone call with President Donald Trump Wednesday night, he was promised the DOJ would not target Colorado's legal marijuana industry. Gardner said his word was enough for him, and he will no longer block the administration's nominees for the DOJ.
“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” Gardner said. “Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.”
He then added, “Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all. Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees.”
A spokesperson for the White House added that Trump “does respect Colorado’s right to decide for themselves how to best approach this issue."
Of course, President Trump is hardly the pinnacle of honestly, so Gardner's putting a lot of faith in a person's word who basically backtracks and flip-flops and lies through his teeth to get what he wants.
Also, it somewhat feels like a cop-out for Gardner's moral stand. He said he was going to block DOJ nominees until the Cole Memo, which protected legalized marijuana states, was reinstated. But now he's dropped his stand after the President said he would support a bill that would protect states rights, even though that bill doesn't even exist yet?
This seems more like Gardner was receiving pressure from Republicans to end his stand, but he needed some minor concession from Trump to do so.
Also, isn't it a little weird that Gardner kept insisting that "Colorado's legal marijuana industry" would be protected, not the industry in all legalized states?
Maybe we shouldn't get too excited until there's an actual piece of legislation protecting marijuana states.
(h/t Washington Post)