Top Senate Republican threatens Jeff Sessions over marijuana policy change

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  • The Department of Justice looks set to crack down on states allowing recreational use and sale of marijuana, breaking with past policy.
  • The expected policy change has prompted backlash from even Republicans.
  • Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, vowed to hold Trump’s DOJ nominees if the issue is not resolved.

A top Senate Republican threatened to withhold President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Justice Department on Thursday after news broke that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would rescind Obama-era rules that allow recreational marijuana use and sale in certain states.

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, who is chairing the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2018 cycle, took aim at Sessions over reports of an imminent crackdown on states not complying with federal marijuana laws, a significant departure from past commitments by the administration.

“This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation,” Gardner wrote on Twitter. “With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states.”

“I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation,” Gardner added in another tweet.

During his campaign, Trump said in an interview with Colorado media that individual states should decide their own laws regarding recreational use and sale of marijuana, adding that he would not go after Colorado and others upon becoming president.

“I’m a states person,” he said. “I think it should be up to the states absolutely.”

The reports of Sessions’ intent to rescind the current policy comes just days after California opened recreational marijuana stores as part of their new law.