Sessions floats federal law that would protect states that decriminalize marijuana

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsA better way to run the Federal Bureau of Prisons Trump admin erases key environmental enforcement tool DOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda MORE told The Hill that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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 GardnerHickenlooper day-old Senate bid faces pushback from progressives The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic field narrows with Inslee exit 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.

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 Ann WarrenSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch 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.