GOP Lawmaker: Trump Administration Pledges Non-Interference In Legal Marijuana States

Sessions has been a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization throughout his political career

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Friday he is "cautiously optimistic" after President Donald Trump reportedly promised to protect the legal marijuana industry in states, but noted that the president "has demonstrated a willingness to go back on his word".

Gardner, whose state legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, threatened to block all Justice Department nominees after Sessions' January memo.

Senator Gardner placed a hold on Department of Justice nominees until he confirmed that Colorado's rights would not be infringed.

"Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states' rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana", Gardner said in the statement.

Gardner said on Friday he received a commitment from Trump that the rescission "will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry".

In Olympia, Ferguson said in a news release, "I understand President Trump has offered his support for states to have the right to regulate marijuana and for legislation to enshrine this right in law".

Gardner had been in a stalemate with the Trump administration on the subject but reported that he will be "lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees" and working with colleagues on "bipartisan legislative solution" to the cannabis issue.

There are now at least three bills under consideration which propose removing marijuana from the CSA's federal banned list or would allow states to legalize without fear of federal prosecution: the Marijuana Justice Act, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act and the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act.

Will Trump's assurances prove to be similar to Jeff Sessions' assurances?

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? Cory Gardner, a Republican, " said'd received a promise from the president on the states' rights' concern earlier this past week.

Following Wednesday night's phone call with the President, the Senator is now backing down from his blockade. Sessions' memo reversed Obama-era policies on recrational pot and hinted at a federal crackdown. During the presidential campaign, Trump said in an interview with KUSA-TV in Colorado that he said "it's up to the states" on the marijuana issue.

Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, told The Washington Post in an interview on Friday that the deal between Trump and Gardner was necessary to fill key positions at the Justice Department.

"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 added. "So we're reluctant to reward that sort of behavior".

Lately, Gardner and Justice authorities have been in discussions for many years to get the holds lifted.

This move comes days after former Republican House Speaker John Boehner announced he would join the advisory board of a medical marijuana holding company.