Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday, after Senator Gardner had agreed in mid-April to approve Trump’s Supreme Court nominees in exchange for the president's support against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision rescind Obama-era protections of state marijuana laws.
On Friday, Trump said he “probably will end up supporting” the bipartisan legislation that would uphold states’ rights and bar the feds from intervening in state’s cannabis laws. This puts Trumps at odds with his Attorney General, though not for the first time.
“I really do. I support Senator Gardner,” Trump replied when asked if he supports the bill.
“I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it,” Trump said in an impromptu press conference on the White House lawn as he prepared to travel to the G-7 summit in Canada. “But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
The bill, the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act, would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from its provisions.
It would also protect banks that deal with legal cannabis businesses and legalize industrial hemp.
“It is a positive sign that President Trump’s first cannabis comment as the Commander in Chief was support for the STATES Act. The real question is how will Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell react,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal told Marijuana Moment.
Meanwhile, Senators Gardner and Warren are trying to gather support for the bill by highlighting an essential element of it.
"This is not a bill that forces legalization on any state that doesn't want it," said Elizabeth Warren. "So part of the pitch here for getting a vote through Congress is to say 'This is for the states who want to act.'"