State's Rights Bill on Marijuana Threatens to Divide Trump Administration

Marsha Scott
June 10, 2018

Trump made the remarks ahead of his departure for this weekend's G7 summit in Quebec. He lifted an Obama administration policy and freed federal prosecutors to more aggressively pursue cases in states that have legalized marijuana.

The two senators announced a partnership on the legislation in April in an effort to hold Trump to his word about favoring a states-rights approach to recreational pot, a position he voiced during the 2016 presidential campaign. Recreational pot sales started on January 1, 2014 and has become a billion-dollar industry in the state. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Reps.

Gardner said the bill had about four or six co-sponsors on the Senate side but admitted that there was a "significant education push we have to do" to garner more support. However, with Republicans in control of Congress and Trump in the White House, legislation that leaves marijuana legalization up to the states has the best chance of gaining traction - and furthering the divide between the president and his attorney general. Twenty-nine states already allow medical marijuana, and nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. "We're looking at it". "I have talked to the president about this bill", he said. I don't think that's appropriate for me to, in effect, violate or neuter federal marijuana laws.

"Because of the one-size-fits-all federal prohibition, state decisions like this put Colorado and other states at odds with the federal government", Gardner said at a news conference.

President Donald Trump on Friday expressed verbal support for recently introduced, bi-partisan legislation that seeks to codify legal protections for state-sanctioned marijuana-related activities.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has long held a hardline stance on marijuana.

"That he was going to start enforcing federal law in places like MA that just overturned the prohibition on marijuana, it spurred us to more immediate action", Senator Warren told 22News.

In a statement released Thursday, Gardner said the proposal would ensure Washington respects the will of voters in each state, whatever their preference on the subject.

Because marijuana is illegal at the federal level, cannabis companies face a number of financial obstacles - the biggest being their inability to use banks or bank services.

Here's some good news for potheads coming from Capitol Hill: a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a new bill on Thursday that would change federal laws prohibiting marijuana.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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