By Stan Bush
DENVER (CBS4) – The Department of Justice and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner are still deadlocked in the battle over legal marijuana.
On Wednesday, Gardner met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the decision to revoke an Obama-era policy at the DOJ to not enforce marijuana as a priority.
Gardner has vowed to block all DOJ nominees from confirmation until Sessions relinquishes on marijuana enforcement. Gardner says Sessions assured him marijuana would not become a priority before Sessions was confirmed by the Senate.
“I reiterated my concern that states’ rights were being infringed on through this action and we agreed to continue talks,” said Gardner in a statement.
Denver-based U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer has indicated that he will not change the way his office treats marijuana.
The Senate is now considering drafting language into the pending appropriations bill that would ban the use of federal funds to cracking down on retail marijuana in states that have passed laws allowing it.
A similar ban already exists for medical marijuana.
The new scrutiny from the DOJ may already be having an effect on the industry where investors are becoming nervous about funding operations into states that recently legalized.
“It was going to keep marching to larger and larger institutions, and I think this is going to slow that down,” said Adam Orens, founder of the Marijuana Policy Group.
Orens group has consulted with countries, states, and some of the countries largest cities on the implementation of legal marijuana. Even with the DOJ shifting focus back to criminal prosecution of pot, more states are pressing to legalize.
“I don’t think this will slow (legalization) down at all,” said Orens. “States will continue to move forward.
Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.