BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Medical marijuana advocates held a rally outside Boston Federal Court Thursday morning to protest the federal government's intention to possibly prosecute marijuana businesses that are legal under state law.
Last month, the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to rescind a policy that eased enforcement of federal marijuana laws--and the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts left open the possibility of prosecuting the now-legal pot industry in the Commonwealth.
"We felt like it was time for us to come out here, because there's some confusion that this only affected adult use," said Michael Latulippe, Development Director of the Massachuestts Patient Advocacy Alliance. "We wanted to make sure that everyone knows that what the federal government has done is affecting medical marijuana patients. It's affecting them right now."
A number of those at the rally were medical marijuana patients themselves--like Michelle Novak-Herman, whose daughter uses cannabis to help with seizures and who also uses it herself. She told WBZ NewsRaido 1030's Carl Stevens she is worried that access may be affected.
"I'm really worried about if we're going to have a medical program," she said. "I'm very worried if they're going to start coming after us, if Jeff Sessions is going to try to get the list of all the people who signed up for medical cards. We did everything legally, and now we're being told, 'no, it's not.' It's very scary."
Novak-Herman said that, if medical marijuana is taken away, many patients like herself would likely turn to opioids.
"I don't want to be arrested because I'm using medicine that's helping me instead of opioids," she said.
The Justice Department announcement has already affected medical marijuana patients, with many credit card processors pulling out of dispensaries--turning them into a cash-only business.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports