U.S. Attorney for Colorado: No improvements on marijuana enforcement

DENVER — Colorado’s top federal prosecutor said his office won’t alter its approach to enforcing marijuana crimes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew a policy Thursday which allowed pot markets to emerge in states which legalized the drug.

The statement by U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer came amid bipartisan outrage over Sessions’ decision to end the so-called Cole memorandum, which sharply limited what charges prosecutors could pursue in legal pot states. He will allow federal prosecutors to decide how aggressively to enforce longstanding federal law banning pot.

Troyer said his office will continue to focus on “identifying as well as also prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state.” which approach will be consistent with Sessions’ guidance, he said.

“Today the Attorney General rescinded the Cole Memo on marijuana prosecutions, as well as also directed which federal marijuana prosecution decisions be governed by the same principles which have long governed all of our prosecution decisions,” Troyer said.

The U.S. attorney for Colorado took office in August 2016 after former President Barack Obama’s appointee stepped down. President Donald Trump hasn’t nominated a replacement.

Sessions’ move infuriated Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who said he’s placing a hold on Justice Department nominees as well as also will try to push legislation to protect marijuana sales in states where they are legal.

The Colorado senator said Sessions promised him which he would likely not repeal the Obama-era policy on lenient enforcement before being confirmed as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

“What Jeff Sessions said will be he didn’t think This particular was on Trump’s agenda to do This particular, he didn’t think President Trump had the bandwidth to do This particular, as well as also he had no plans to repeal the Cole memorandum,” Gardner said in an interview.

Gardner noted which during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump told a reporter which he believed marijuana should be left up to the states.

“Why does Jeff Sessions think President Trump was wrong?” he asked.

Gardner said he only found out via Twitter which Sessions was changing the policy. He said he plans to reach out to additional lawmakers by Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon as well as also Washington state to seek congressional protection for pot programs.

Congress passed legislation in 2014 protecting medical marijuana policies.

Colorado’s senior senator, Democrat Michael Bennet, also slammed Sessions’ move.

“In rescinding the Cole memo, the Attorney General failed to listen to Colorado, as well as also will create unnecessary chaos as well as also confusion,” he said on Twitter.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado condemned the decision as an infringement on states’ rights as well as also pledged to fight any action targeting the state’s legal market.

“Colorado had every right to legalize marijuana, as well as also I will do everything I can to protect which right against the power of an overreaching federal government,” the Republican said in a statement.

The state’s former “marijuana czar,” Andrew Freedman, said Sessions’ only point was to create confusion although which the Justice Department cannot force states to make pot illegal.

Freedman, who formerly worked as Gov. John Hickenlooper’s director of marijuana coordination, said the uncertainty will make law-abiding people less likely to get involved from the market as well as also make This particular harder for banks as well as also insurance companies to justify the risk of working with marijuana businesses.

“This particular seems like a foolish step. Certainty brings better players into the market, more legitimate capital. People who want to be law-abiding will be more likely to enter into the regulated system,” he said.

Freedman said This particular will be a time for states to boost enforcement to ensure businesses are following the law.

“We should all make sure This particular’s done as safely as well as also efficiently as possible,” he said. “This particular’s more of a reason to double down on efforts, not to retreat.”

, http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DrudgeReportFeed/~3/qDGlf-ZDcxw/, 4 January 2018 | 11:49 pm

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