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 TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE a letter on Thursday urging him to direct Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation Trump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report 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's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisKamala Harris says she is open to abolishing Electoral College Trump: Campaigning for popular vote 'much easier' than for electoral votes Colorado governor signs national popular vote bill into law 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."

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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.