54 lawmakers call on Trump administration to back off marijuana

54 lawmakers call on Trump administration to back off marijuana
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

A bipartisan group of 54 lawmakers sent President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE a letter on Thursday urging him to direct Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Chris Wallace: AG Barr 'clearly is protecting' Trump Appeals court rules Trump end of DACA was unlawful MORE to reinstate an Obama-era policy that gave states leeway in allowing marijuana for recreational purposes.

"We write with urgent concern regarding the recent steps taken by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to disrupt state efforts to implement their own marijuana enforcement policies," reads the letter, led by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHere are the potential candidates still eyeing 2020 bids Sanders unveils education plan that would ban for-profit charter schools Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisColorado secretary of state bans employees from traveling to Alabama after abortion law Colorado governor marks day for teen who died in school shooting Montana Gov. Bullock enters presidential race MORE (D-Colo.). 

"As a candidate, you stated: 'I really believe we should leave [marijuana] up to the states' and that 'it's got to be a state decision,' " the letter stated.

"We trust that you still hold this belief, and we request that you urge the Attorney General to reinstate the Cole Memorandum."


Sessions moved earlier this month to rescind the so-called Cole memo, which discouraged federal prosecutors from bringing marijuana-related charges in states that had legalized recreational use of the substance. 

The 2013 memo paved the way for many states to legalize recreational marijuana without fear of federal interference or prosecution. So far, nine states and the District of Columbia have moved to legalize recreational pot.

Sessions's decision to rescind that policy drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, who said that doing so would infringe on states' rights.