It is not just a squabble between two Republicans. U.S. Rep. Sen. Cory Garnder has put U.S. Rep. General Attorney Jeff Sessions under “siege” after “jamming all appointments to the Department of Justice.”
Sessions on Monday showed no signs that he will back down from his decision he made in early January when he rescinded an Obama-era policy, which allowed states the freedom to operate legalized marijuana.
“Right now, we’re trying to confirm a number of important component heads at the Department of Justice,” Sessions said on Monday at the National Sheriffs’ Association. “That includes a new head of our Criminal Division, our Civil Rights Division, and our National Security Division,” he added.
But the problem is that the Rep. Sen.from Colorado Gardner has held at least 11 nominees from getting a Senate floor vote — the last major step before they can start work – and could put a halt to 20 more.
Gardner was one of the main vocal opponents after Sessions annulled the Obama-era policy of the Cole Memo. This occurred soon after California on Jan. 1 became the largest U.S. state to legalize marijuana.
Sessions further said that “our nominee to lead the National Security Division was approved unanimously in committee. But because of one senator’s concerns over unrelated political issues—like legalizing marijuana—we can’t even get a vote.”
The attorney general said he doesn’t have “the authority to say that something is legal when it is illegal—even if I wanted to.”
“I cannot and will not pretend that a duly enacted law of this country—like the federal ban on marijuana—does not exist. Marijuana is illegal in the United States—even in Colorado, California, and everywhere else in America.”
While not naming Gardner himself, but Sessions said: “too often, we’ve seen bad judgments, even politics enter into the work that we do.”
Gardner: Sessions is a Lier
Gardner accused Sessions of lying since the latter said he won’t take U-turn on the Cole Memo. Interestingly enough, Gardner didn’t vote for the legalization of weed in Colorado in 2012, but he is fighting for his state’s right and the will of its voters.
On Friday, an Editorial post by the Denver Post further backed this sentiment.
It said: “For weeks Gardner has blocked Senate confirmation of Justice Department nominees to try to knock some sense into the attorney general for threatening states like ours that have legalized recreational use of marijuana.”
“We applaud Gardner’s efforts,” it added.
It also said that the Obama administration “should have done more to protect states when it had the chance,” but emphasized that the Cole-memo’s respecting states’ rights on legal cannabis was “working fine.”
“Siege” to Protect Colorado’s “Sovereignty”
In another article by the Denver Post, it said it has been a month since Gardner’s attempt to “jam all appointments to the Department of Justice until Attorney General Jeff Sessions softens his stance on marijuana.”
The daily dubbed it as a “siege” to “protect both Colorado’s cannabis industry and the state’s sovereignty.”
But Sessions is clearly is not showing any signs that he is “softening up.”
Even last week, Sessions said marijuana itself can be a contributing factor to the opioid crisis. This is despite, activists and experts championing that marijuana can be a great substitute for opioid addiction for those needing medication to reduce pain.
Sessions also gave his own remedy, and that’s by taking “two pills of bufferins” and “go to bed.”
In a piece tagged as exclusive, Alfred S. Regnery, Chairman of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, accused Gardner, said Gardner “a moderate Republican and otherwise reasonable fellow,” is helping Democrats by derailing work that must be done by Republicans.
Regnery said the “trouble is” that John Demers, the man Trump nominated last September to head Justice’s National Security Division, “is waiting to be confirmed by the Senate.” But the problem, Gardner “has a beef with Attorney General Sessions over enforcement of Federal marijuana laws in Colorado.”
“Yes, you read that right. There is no permanent presidential appointee in charge of combating terrorism at the Justice Department because a Republican senator has put discretionary federal marijuana enforcement above U.S. national security in his priorities.”