President Donald Trump made a surprising announcement on Friday before leaving for his trip to Canada for the G-7 summit, signaling that he will most likely support ending the federal ban on marijuana.
The move, which could be devastating for Democratic candidates running in 2018, would be in support of Sen. Corey Gardner’s (R-CO) efforts to end the ban. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Trump’s remarks put him sharply at odds with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions on the issue. The bill in question, pushed by a bipartisan coalition, would allow states to go forward with legalization unencumbered by threats of federal prosecution. Sessions, by contrast, has ramped up those threats and has also lobbied Congress to reduce current protections for medical marijuana.
“I support Senator Gardner,” Trump said. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
At a news conference on Thursday, Gardner explained why he thinks the issue is important, stating: “If you are in the marijuana business … you can’t get a bank loan or set up a bank account because of concern over the conflict between state and federal law.”
“We need to fix this,” Gardner continued. “It is time we take this industry out of the shadows, bring these dollars out of the shadows.”