Department of Justice rescinding the marijuana enforcement policy

The action has sparked confusion in states that legalized recreational pot.

Jeff Sessions
Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes a point while speaking during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- US attorney Jeff Sessions last week lifted the Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal.

The action has sparked confusion in those states.

“The federal government is taking these steps which is a huge step backward,” said Donovan Bartish, Manager of Shop Therapy in Northampton. “To me it doesn’t makes sense at all.”

Under federal law its illegal to grow buy or posses recreational marijuana despite several states legalizing it including Massachusetts. 22News spoke with an attorney in Northampton on how Sessions’ actions could impact our state.

“It’s going to end up to the US Attorney General Office whether they want to go after places and businesses that are selling marijuana,” said James Winston, Northampton Attorney.

US district attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling sent 22News a statement saying ” It’s my sworn responsibility to enforce federal law, guided by the Principles of Federal Prosecution. To do that, however, I must proceed on a case-by-case basis, assessing each matter according to those principles and deciding whether to use limited federal resources to pursue it.”

The Cannabis Control Commission said it’ll continue to implement the state law, allowing for the sale and adult use of recreational marijuana.