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Colorado's Gardner meets with Sessions on proposed pot crackdown

January 10, 2018 Updated: January 10, 2018 at 10:47 pm
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Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on Wednesday pushed Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the Trump Administration's proposed crackdown on the state's legalized marijuana.

The two met, but reached few conclusions, an email from the freshman senator said.

"Earlier today I met with Attorney General Sessions to further discuss the Justice Department's decision to rescind current policy on legal marijuana enforcement. I reiterated my concern that states' rights were being infringed on through this action and we agreed to continue talks," Gardner wrote. "I also hope to expand these discussions with the Justice Department to include several of my Democrat and Republican colleagues about what steps can be taken legislatively to protect Colorado's rights."

Sessions announced last week that he would abandon an Obama-era policy that softened Justice Department enforcement of federal drug laws in states where voters have legalized marijuana.

Lawmakers from Colorado, one of the first states to approve legal pot, have moved to thwart increased enforcement.

Along with Gardner, Aurora Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman has been especially critical of the change.

"Attorney General Sessions needs to read the Commerce Clause found in Article 1, Section 8 , Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution that limits the power of the federal government to regulate interstate and not intrastate commerce," Coffman said in an email.

In Colorado Springs legalized pot has its limits. While marijuana is legal in the rest of the region, it remains banned on the Pikes Peak region's five military bases.

If Sessions stays on course, Gardner signaled he could use legislation to combat the crackdown.

This week, he met with a bipartisan group of senators on the issue and pledged "legislative steps that can be taken to restore states' rights impacted by this latest action."

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Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

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