Colo. senator to confront Sessions over marijuana memo

Colo. senator to confront Sessions over marijuana memo
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Colo.) says he plans to discuss Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLisa Page sues DOJ, FBI over alleged privacy violations Sessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry MORE's decision to rescind a policy allowing the legalized recreational use of marijuana in some states during their meeting on Wednesday. 

Gardner told The Denver Post that if Sessions does not reverse his decision, he will follow through on his threats made last week to hold up the confirmation process for Department of Justice (DOJ) nominees. 

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“It’s my job to protect those states’ rights and states’ decisions,” the senator said. “I would anticipate it being [Justice] officials. I would anticipate it being U.S. marshals [and] U.S. attorneys. But the bottom line is this can be solved by the Department of Justice.”

DOJ did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment on the meeting.

Justice Department officials told The Post that at least 24 people would immediately be affected if Gardner worked to block the nominees. 

Gardner first made the threats last week and said Sessions had told him before he was confirmed by the Senate he would not reverse the Obama-era policy, also known as the Cole memo.

The policy is aimed at discouraging federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana-related offenses in states where the substance is legal, including Colorado. 

The move to rescind the memo could put the department in conflict with states including Colorado, Washington and California, which became the sixth state to legalize recreational marijuana earlier this month. Massachusetts and Maine are set to join those states later this year.