Sessions floats federal law that would protect states that decriminalize marijuana

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRoy Moore sues Alabama over COVID-19 restrictions GOP set to release controversial Biden report Trump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs MORE told The Hill that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE hasn't talked to him about legislation to decriminalize federal marijuana laws, but that he believed the president would support legislation to protect states that do so.

In an exclusive interview with The Hill’s new TV show "Rising," which aired Thursday morning, Sessions said he understood remarks from Trump last week to be supportive of such protections.

“What I understood the president to have told Senator Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate Democrats want to avoid Kavanaugh 2.0 Breaking the Chinese space addiction Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error MORE was that if a state legalizes marijuana, he may be supportive of legislation that would honor that state’s decision,” the former Alabama senator said.

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President Trump said last week that he would “probably” back a bipartisan bill that could let states determine their own marijuana laws and prevent the federal government from getting involved.

"He hasn't told that to me, that's what's been reported in the papers," Sessions said.

This would mark a break from his own administration's policies as enforced by the Judiciary Department led by Sessions.

Sessions emphasized in the interview that marijuana “remains a violation of the law in all 50 states.”

In January, Sessions reversed Obama-era policies urging federal prosecutors not to interfere with states with marijuana-friendly laws.

Trump's remarks come just a week after Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren slams Trump over Proud Boys comments Ocasio-Cortez, Warren pull out of New Yorker Festival amid labor dispute The Hill's Morning Report - Fight night: Trump, Biden hurl insults in nasty debate MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced legislation to allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference. It would also protect banks that work with marijuana businesses in states where it is legal.

So far, 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana use in some form.