Sessions floats federal law that would protect states that decriminalize marijuana
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told The Hill that President Trump 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 Gardner 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 Warren (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.