President Trump is going green — and Attorney General Sessions is probably seeing red.
Trump announced Wednesday that he will back congressional efforts to protect states’ rights to legal marijuana, according to a Republican senator.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner said Trump promised over the phone that a memo Sessions issued last year won’t affect his home state. The memo sought to reverse Obama-era policies on recreational pot and hinted at a federal crackdown.
“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,” Gardner said in a statement Friday. “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.”
Gardner, whose state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, threatened to block all Justice Department nominees after Sessions’ January memo. In light of Trump’s phone call, the senator said he has had a change of heart.
“Because of these commitments, I have informed the administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees,” Gardner said.
Sessions did not react publically to the development, but a source familiar with the matter told the Daily News that the Justice Department had not been consulted before Trump’s phone call.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Gardner’s statement.
“We’re always consulting Congress about issues, including states rights, of which the president is a firm believer and the statement that the senator put out earlier today is accurate,” Sanders told reporters at the White House Friday.
Sessions has been a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization throughout his political career.
The 71-year-old Alabama native was blocked from a federal judgeship because an African-American colleague testified that he once joked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK” until he “found out they smoked pot.”