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

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 13, 2018

    Republican Senator Cory Gardner (CO) says that he has received a verbal commitment from President Donald Trump specifying that the administration will not take action to disrupt marijuana markets in states that legally regulate the substance.

    “Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” Gardner told the Associated Press. “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 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.”

    In January, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidelines directing federal prosecutors not to take action against those who were compliant with state-sanctioned cannabis regulations. In response to that decision, Rep. Gardner had vowed to block all nominees for Justice Department jobs.

    On Friday, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said, Trump “does respect Colorado’s right to decide for themselves how to best approach this issue.” At a separate press conference, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that the President and Sen. Gardner had spoken about the issue and that the senator’s account is “accurate.”

    In response to the administration’s pledge, NORML Director Erik Altieri stated: “We applaud this commitment from President Trump, who promised during his campaign to take a federalist approach with regard to marijuana policy. That campaign promise was not reflected by Trump’s appointment of longtime marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General or any of the actions that Sessions has taken since becoming the nation’s top law enforcement officer.”

    “With the President now reiterating this commitment, it is time for Congress to do its part and swiftly move forward bipartisan legislation that explicitly provides states with the authority and autonomy to set their own marijuana policies absent the fear of federal incursion. Doing so would not only follow through one of Trump’s campaign promises, but it would codify the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans.”

    Senator Gardner reiterated that he and his colleagues “are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution (to the state/federal conflict) that can pass Congress and head to the President’s desk.”

    Thirty states have enacted statutes regulating the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Nine states have passed laws regulating marijuana use by adults. By contrast, federal law defines the marijuana plant as a ‘Schedule I’ prohibited substance that lacks “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

    81 responses to “GOP Lawmaker: Trump Administration Pledges Non-Interference In Legal Marijuana States”

    1. Fred Marsico says:

      It’s really simple: Cannabis/hemp is a cash crop and not a dangerous drug.

    2. Walter Corcoran says:

      Don’t forget Trump has admitted publicly that he will lie to get his way and Gardner is in his way from installing more swamp judge’s and other’s

      • Dain Bramage says:

        The whole thing is bullshit.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Walter Corcoran,

        Thank you for being awake!

        Here is what the REPUBLICANS are doing: they are attempting to divide, and defeat, the cannabis legalization community, via Federalism… so-called “states rights.” They want to stop legalization in its tracks, using “states rights.”

        Traitor Trump, and Cardboard Cory, want Colorado to say “We are so scared and frightened of that scumbag Trump, and his extortionist threats, that we are willing to sell out the rest of the states that have not yet legalized cannabis, in order to protect our own ass — er, I mean, state. We got “ours”, and that’s all we care about. So, we are going to kiss Trump’s ass, and betray our values, and even our Country, in order to keep “ours”, even if that means losing states like Alabama and Georgia and Mississippi.”

        Trump is counting on us being as selfish and unprincipled as he is. He wants us to betray each other, out of fear of his power.

        The goal? Trump wants to UN-UNITE the USA, using Federalism. Why? For Putin, of course. That’s their deal. Trump gets to be an oligarch, and Putin gets to put USA under fascist authoritarian control.

        But we won’t do it. Will we? Say “No!”

        Get it straight: NORML doesn’t stand for the rights of white, privileged cannabis consumers in Colorado. It stands for the rights of ALL cannabis consumers, in ALL states. The day NORML becomes a propaganda tool of the Trump Regime is the day I abandon NORML and go back underground for good.

        To celebrate this Cory Gardner horseshit propaganda is to join with Trump, and to give away our souls for selective class privilege, for some of us. Not for others.

        Do not buy into this scam, NORML, I AM BEGGING YOU. Look at the ruin that befalls anyone who tries to cut a deal with Trump, or one of his lackeys, like that little pussy Cory Gardner.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          I anticipate a counter-argument, which is, “If we don’t join with Trump to protect Colorado, we legalizers will lose not only Colorado, but the so-called tipping point, for legalization nationwide.”

          I disagree with this argument if it is presented, for two reasons: 1) join with Trump, and we lose the whole ball game, get used to living in fascist Russia, under gangster, mob rule. There is only losing under Trump, there is no win for legalization in a banana republic. 2) There is no tipping point under Federalism. State’s rights means USA does NOT tip, it fractures. This is not what legalization is about, it is the opposite: white privilege.

          • Dain Bramage says:

            You can’t join with Trump in order to protect yourself from Trump. That’s not logical. That’s called extortion. Traitor Trump is a gangster, a criminal, an extortionist. Stay as far the fuck away from that fuck as you can!

          • Julian says:

            We dont have to support Trump touse his own state’s rights federalist policies… however fleeting… to further our own agenda:


            Look at how DC Representative Eleanour Holmes Norton does it.

            And she doesn’t even have a VOTE!

            And this is America!

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Agreed, by all means, let us take advantage of Traitor Trump’s mistakes and crimes to defeat him and his fascist agenda. But never, never, ever say he EVER did anything GOOD for legalization, or America herself.

              Congresswoman Elenor Norton Holmes knows full well how Trump and his lickspittles view strong black women. She doesn’t give Trump one ounce of credit for doing the right thing.

              That’s because HE IS NOT doing the right thing, he is doing what he always does: Evil. In this case, extortion.

              In Trump’s right hand is Jeff Sessions, straining at his chain, threatening a crackdown on legal marijuana. In Trump’s left hand is a demand: “Give me my phony legitimacy as a real president, instead of the gangster you know me to be. Cover for me, and MAYBE I won’t hurt you real bad.”

              In her press release, Holmes never gave Trump credit for anything.

              But good people on this blog are falling for Trump’s bullshit. They do so when they praise Trump for not being AS evil as he could choose to be, at any time…

              Trump never stops telling us all the evil things he believes are within the scope of his power. That’s a threat — give me what I want, or you will get hurt. That is gangster extortion.

              What Trump wants is something he can never have: legitimacy.

              We must never give or lend him any.

        • Julian says:

          I’m with you that Trump is bent on destruction and division for Putin, but you shouldn’t be so quick to equate state’s rights to white privilege (irregardless of what “states rights” meant for the old south 50 years ago). And we also need to remember that Putin is certainly not the only big bad billionaire batman villain trying to divide and conquer a fairly taxed marijuana market, or freedom as it were. We have plenty of homegrown terrorists from the Koch brothers to the Mercers, the Sacklers, Insys Therapuetics and Sheldon Adelson to name a few.

          The 10th amendment is working for us. It’s what kept the Cole memos alive and it’s what allowed Colorado and Washington to keep the feds out to establish legal markets in the first place. In states like mine here in Texas, where we have no direct democracy and no voter initiative, the problem for freedom is Dems don’t get out and vote. We can’t blame Colorado for that. And while there are certainly elements of “white privilege” that make white neighborhoods fall prey to the super wealthy propaganda, we can’t exactly equate that to states rights… it’s a false equivalency, or putting the racist cart before the workhorse. Because white privilege has been defended by state’s “rights” does not mean state’s rights is intrinsicly white priviliged. If we say that we are feeding the propaganda that Fox “News” is selling: “You see? They hate us for being ‘white’”
          (Damn, I think I ran out of “quotes…”)

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Well, Julian, this gets tricky, because I feel that the more involved I become in the arguments for, or against, state’s rights, I feel as though I have been diverted somehow, into a cause that is not my own.

            There are certainly all kinds of scholastic arguments for and against states rights, and I have called state’s rights “a double-edged sword” before.

            But my deeper discomfort has to do with the fact that, for me, this is about real people. True, states represents real people; but it requires a level of indirection, or two, to make that claim.

            And it remains true: Corporations are not people; neither are states.

            There are legitimate issues to work out regarding the “rights” of this state vs that state vs “The State” (however that may be defined.) I wouldn’t impede those discussions.

            But ultimately, it’s not my fight. States can’t smoke weed. They can’t be imprisoned or killed.

            That’s why when I hear “states rights” I say “human rights.”

            I will concede the scholastics that are beyond my expertise, but I still try to keep my eye on the ball!

          • Dain Bramage says:

            If one lives in Georgia or Mississippi, it might not be so clear that states rights, as a tactic, is working for “us.” Are we the USA? United? Or, are we a loose federation of states under oligarch control?

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Julian, I support marijuana legalization, not states rights that fuck me out of Healthcare, and only semi-legalize marijuana, in some states.

            Gardner sees the conflict.

            Gardner opposes marijuana legalization, opposes Healthcare, and supports fascist Trumpism. That’s a raw deal! I can’t support that, or Gardner, or Trump.

            Mexweed is right — history will be quick to blame us stoners for Traitor Trump if we allow this.

            I would not give Cory Gardner any grade better than “C-“.

            Comments from Cory Gardner, directly from NORML congressional scorecard:

            “The new DOJ policies seem to imply that federal authorities will not preempt state laws. Does this set precedent of other areas? For example, several states have passed laws to opt out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, yet the federal government has consistently said it will take over health insurance industries regardless of states that contest the law. If you do not agree that there is a precedent set, would you explain the inconsistencies of why in certain areas federal law may be deemed irrelevant, but not in others?”

            • Dain Bramage says:

              I would reply to Gardner “Good point, fuck ALL Republicans, in that case. Including yourself!”

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Changed my mind on the grade. After his opposition to legalization, and his support for Trump, and his opposition to Healthcare, INCLUDING medical marijuana patients, Cory Gardner gets an “F” from this stoner.

    3. Walter Corcoran says:

      Take this with a grain of salt until proven otherwise.sorry but can’t believe everything from his mouth anymore.

    4. Matt says:

      great to hear! Remember, also, Sessions and the DOJ on small-scale prosecutions. Let us hope this stands, and more later on this.

    5. Matt says:

      had a longer response but it did not post. but had to retype at least: great job Sen. Gardner! inspiring all to stand tall!

      • Dain Bramage says:

        I like you, kiddo, so I am going to give you a piece of good advice: don’t be a sucker.

    6. Matt says:

      a long way since Spicer’s ominous “greater enforcement.” been scary and on edge since 2016. hahaha! take that, Sessions, KEVIN Sabet and Co. lets hope this holds up!

    7. Mark Mitcham says:

      Bullshit! Don’t be a fool.

      Senator Cory Gardner is a fucking liar.

      This is fascist propaganda, pure and simple.

      Traitor Trump’s word is worse than worthless — it is fascist propaganda. We know this, so snap out of it, goddamn it! When Cory Gardner pimps Traitor Trump’s “verbal commitment” then he’s as full of shit as Traitor Trump. You would have to be out of your goddamn mind to believe Gardner, or Trump!

      Cory Gardner does not support marijuana legalization, but he sure as hell supports Trump! That makes Cory Gardner a traitor. And anyone who listens to him a fool. This is not hard.

      Cory Gardner voted to take Healthcare away from his own constituents in Colorado. When they protested, he refused to meet with them, earning himself the nickname “Cardboard Cory”, after the lifesize, cardboard cutout photo of him which people “debated” instead.

      He doesn’t care about Healthcare… Do you really think he cares about medical marijuana patients?

      Fuck no. Fuck Trump, fuck Gardner, and fuck all their traitorous Republican cohorts.

      Fascist propaganda.

      Don’t say nobody warned you, suckers!

      • mexweed says:

        The timing is what’s scary– now huuuuuugely well paid fake history writers might be able to blame cannabis popularization for the 6y11$#!!+ that resulted from elecqdting the trwmbpszters.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          The timing is what shocked me, too.
          This ad campaign was orchestrated, and it was launched for a reason that cannot be good.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Any group or person who enables Trump will go down in history as vile Nazi collaborators.

          Let’s not let Republicans off the hook for that treasonous bastard Trump, with their sweet-talk and cannabis flowers and gas-lighting. They are like rapists with flowers. No wonder Trump has “rape” on the brain.

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Did you see Mitch McConnell, in a recent interview? He stated decisively, when asked about potential legislation protecting Mueller from being fired by Trump, that he will allow NO SUCH LEGISLATION on the Senate Floor. He has covered for Trump and Sessions all along.

    8. Negative Nancy says:

      Smells of desperation on Trump’s part. Bob Mueller has the dirt on him now. So, what do Republicans do? Ad campaign. Of course! It’s their only real skill set.

      So, don’t fall for it. The Republicans are simply marketing a lie to us cannabis consumers, in order to protect Trump, because they think we’re stupid stoners. Don’t prove them right.

    9. Dain Bramage says:


    10. SavageSavant says:

      Trump absolutely will keep his word. He’s consistently aimed to keep his campaign promises. Sessions was appointed for his stance on immigration not, drugs. Also, Trumps children believe in ending the War on Drugs completely!

      • Dain Bramage says:

        You are a liar.

      • Negative Nancy says:

        SavageSavant, you are living proof that you can fool some of the people all the time.

      • Julian says:

        “Consistently”? Read before you post. NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri explains that since hiring Sessions for AG Trump has consistently broken his campaign promise to leave mj regulation up to the states.
        Trump is desperate to take the headlines off of high treason and his pending indictments by a Federal Judge who can easily replace Mueller with any prosecutor she chooses. Thats why he’s coordinating with Russia to bomb (hopefully) empty airfields in Syria to hopelessly distract from the damning evidence in the investigation. Trump took a hard line prohibitionist stance by delegating drug policies to the worst prohibitionists Big Pharma and private prisons made available… and getting angry at Keebler for not recusing himself is not fooling marijuana reforming Republican voters.
        What Erik’s statement does is correctly place the pressure from all the big talk into action where it belongs… in Congress. Meaning it’s up to us not only to keep clicking on the ACT tab for 1227, but we also need to vet our candidates and push out the prohibitionists like Pete Sessions once and for all.


      • Dain Bramage says:

        What about Trump’s commitment to the Red states? A “Federalist” solution means no legalization at all in Red States. Foget about Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, etc.

        So that’s it, eh? Abandon them all to Republican drug prohibition forever? And leave USA divided into “free” and “non-free” states? Sounds like a white supremacist’s wet dream. And a victory for Putin.

        I say, No!

        If it is part of the USA, we’re going to legalize it! Notice how it’s Republicans and Red State legislatures that are now always the ones standing in the way?

        Red State voters will receive precisely as much oppression and abuse from Republican politicians as they are willing to tolerate.

        Beak from the cult, and vote Democratic! (You really should try it, Reds. At least once, now, to save your own ass! It’s not a crime, you know — just sacrilege to your cult leaders. You all call yourselves “rebels”, right? Well? Who owns you now?)

        • Dain Bramage says:

          I meant to say “Break from the cult” not “Beak from the cult!”

          I don’t even know what that is!

      • ancient james says:

        Very clear thinking in your post. Also the President was known in the 90s for thinking that drugs are better considered a medical issue rather than a matter of criminality. Think of this, Cannabis is a medical issue, Cannabis is the most medicinal plant in the world with a very strong prophylactic effect. So we see that cannabis is Always medical since it is actively preventing or slowing down a long list of human degenerative conditions. All cannabis is medical, we see, and the recreational aspect is simply a bonus.

        • Julian says:

          Do we really need to list the number of issues Trump has flip flopped on… sometimes in one sentence? Who do you think youre fooling?
          “We’re in Syria… no, now we’re out”
          “No TPP… it’s raping us… Yeah, bring back the rape…”
          And from the campaign, he actially said, “How are they going to get over a wall? Well… a rope and a ladder…” (Hand slapping face emoji)
          So just because the dimented orange parrot repeated something smart about drug policy back in the 80’s when he thought it was convenient does not remotely convince any sane person that anything this man says can be trusted. Let’s focus on CONGRESS. Go ahead and put him on the mike Mueller; let’s get this overwith.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          ancient James, marijuana as a prophylactic never worked very well for me. What’s your secret?