"I believe in states' rights; and the other day, the president notified me that he would be supporting a states' rights approach when it comes to legalized marijuana", Gardner said on "The Daily Briefing" Friday.
Senator Gardner placed a hold on Department of Justice nominees until he confirmed that Colorado's rights would not be infringed.
Gardner lifted holds on Assistant Attorney General for National Security, United States Attorneys, and United States Marshals nominees in February as an "act of good faith" after talks with DOJ leadership.
Matt Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates state control of marijuana laws, said this was a positive step in the short and long term - as a signal to Sessions to get more in line with Trump's previously-stated views on marijuana policy and as motivation for lawmakers to seriously tackle marijuana policy reform.
It was a response to the Department of Justice's announcement in January that Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum. "My colleagues and I are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution that can pass Congress and head to the President's desk to deliver on his campaign position", Gardner said. "I received a commitment from the president that the Department of Justice's rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry".
Inslee and Ferguson issued their statements after Republican Sen.
One of Gardner's primary points of contention with Sessions' decision to bring the hammer down on states with legal cannabis markets was his assurance during his confirmation hearings that he "would leave states that had legalized marijuana alone".
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said during Friday's press briefing that the president spoke with Gardner today and yesterday. "We hope the president - who doesn't want to be known as the "Pot President" - will reverse course soon", said Kevin Sabet, founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. During the presidential campaign, Trump said in an interview with KUSA-TV in Colorado that he said "it's up to the states" on the marijuana issue.
However, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015, Trump said he supported medical marijuana but called recreational pot "bad".
The movement to legalize marijuana is gaining steam, Gardner said and thinks a vast majority of Americans support legalization as a matter of policy.
President Trump is going green - and Attorney General Sessions is likely seeing red.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., addresses reporters, January 22, 2018.
Maybe we shouldn't get too excited until there's an actual piece of legislation protecting marijuana states.
It may be modeled on a 2014 budget amendment that prevented the Department of Justice from spending money to enforce federal laws against marijuana users and businesses in states that legalized the drug and were following all applicable state laws.