President Donald Trump told a gaggle of reporters Friday that he will “probably” support efforts by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to end the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized it.
“I support Sen. Gardner,” the president said before departing for the G-7 summit in Canada, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
President Trump has taken a hard line against drugs. In March, he proposed that the death penalty be made available in prosecutions of drug traffickers.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era policy of not enforcing the federal marijuana ban in states that had voted to legalize the drug for medicinal or recreational use, allowing federal prosecutors in each state to use their own discretion.
In response to that decision, Garnder threatened to hold up future nominations for positions in the Department of Justice. He backed down after he said Trump had agreed not to intervene in states that had legalized the drug, and said privately that he would support Garnder’s legislation.
Friday’s statement, however, was the first time Trump had made that support public.
The president’s comments on marijuana were among many other surprises Friday morning. He also hinted that he might offer a posthumous pardon to boxer Muhammad Ali for refusing to serve in Vietnam. And he suggested — just days after disinviting the Philadelphia Eagles from the White House over the issue of kneeling for the national anthem — that he would speak to players who knelt about their suggestions for future presidential pardons.
Earlier this week, Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who had been serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug-related crime.