Attorney General Jeff Sessions has abruptly rescinded Obama-era policies that discourage federal prosecutors from cracking down on marijuana in states where marijuana use and sale has been legalized. At least 29 states and the District of Columbia have at least partially legalized marijuana, including, most recently, California, where it became legal on January 1. But marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s move to rescind the policy, known as the “Cole Memorandum,” sparked widespread backlash and concern about a nationwide crackdown against the production, sale, distribution and use of marijuana. This is Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner speaking on the Senate Floor Thursday.
Sen. Cory Gardner: “Without the Cole Memorandum, legal businesses operating in accordance to states’ rights, states’ laws, they’re operating now under a cloud of uncertainty. … Thousands of jobs at risk, millions of dollars in revenue, and certainly the question of constitutional states’ rights, very much at the core of this discussion. Because I believe what happened today was a trampling of Colorado’s rights, its voters. And, sure, this was a heavily debated issue, something that I’ve already said that I opposed. But the people of Colorado spoke. They spoke loudly, and I believe if the same question were asked today, they’d even have more support for the decision they made back several years ago.”