Cory Gardner to meet with Jeff Sessions after doubling down on threats over marijuana enforcement change | AspenTimes.com

Cory Gardner to meet with Jeff Sessions after doubling down on threats over marijuana enforcement change

Mark K. Matthews
The Denver Post

File - In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Sen. Gardner said Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, that he's placing a hold on Department of Justice nominees and will try to push legislation to protect marijuana sales in states where the drug is legal after Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew a federal policy that allowed recreational markets to emerge. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said he plans to press Attorney General Jeff Sessions on federal marijuana policy when the two Republicans meet Wednesday.

In an interview, the Republican from Colorado emphasized that he is prepared, if he doesn't get his way, to block all nominees related to the Department of Justice, including U.S. marshals and U.S. attorneys from other states.

The comments build on threats that Gardner made last week after a decision by Sessions to rescind an Obama-era policy that left alone Colorado and other states that legalized marijuana in spite of federal laws against it.

"It's my job to protect those states' rights and states' decisions," Gardner said. "I would anticipate it being (Justice) officials. I would anticipate it being U.S. marshals (and) U.S. attorneys. But the bottom line is (that) this can be solved by the Department of Justice."

Justice Department officials declined to comment on the upcoming meeting, but congressional aides said if Gardner keeps his vow to block or stall these nominees, then at least two dozen people would be affected, including several high-level positions at the Justice Department.

Senate rules give broad leeway to individual lawmakers who want to put a hold on nominees.

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