LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - A crackdown in 2007 at a West Hollywood dispensary ended in arrests. Actions that were supposed to stop the legalization of marijuana. Now, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding Obama-era actions that could trigger a new crackdown...making some who have worked hard to legalize cannabis unhappy.
We gathered a group of leaders in the Cannabis community who -- when they first heard to the news and read the letter from Attorney General Sessions -- was saying this like "it's ridiculous," "disgraceful," "un-American," and it makes them angry.
All expect big court battles that could become contentious.
Attorney Pamela Epstein, who works on cannabis cases expressed her frustration telling FOX 11, "...this morning, one man just decided...to take a Federal position that jeopardizes everything that more than half of the American public has said is important to them. It was a violation of living in a democracy."
So, what are you supposed to feel when you stand in a line to buy what you believe is legal - and is in California if you're over 21 - after a federal official says he want to crack down on what's flourished across the country?
To Jackie Subeck, who worked on the Prop 64 campaign, "I think the truth is nobody should have any fear about this right now…in fact, press on…continue to get your medication, continue to get in line…continue to get your adult-use marijuana."
Curtis Stafford with the National Cannabis Association says "It's legal in the State of California.. just as much today as it was yesterday." But, yesterday, the Attorney General didn't take a position.
Now, Epstein says, this puts a chill on how people might feel. She says, It absolutely does. It has a chilling effect on investments…on how the market place operates."
To the people at the table what Sessions did is no surprise. Says Jackie Subeck, "Jeff Sessions has been threatening to do this for quite some time and it was just kind of a matter of when. I don't find it shocking at all that it happened 3 days after California went live with adult use cannabis, in fact I think the timing was probably exactly what he would have wanted."
Could there be DEA raids again like there were in 2007 at WeHo's Farmacy?
AHHS owner Jason Bates says, "...ultimately, I don't really think so because the reality is that the court of public opinion is 100% on our side. There's always a possibility and there always is a reality that it could possibly happen and we live with this everyday ever since we've been in business."
But, make no mistake, social media was buzzing all day over the news.
Attorney Bruce Margolin, a Director for NORML in LA told FOX 11 about the Sessions action, "We're very saddened by this because we represent the consumer and you can imagine how these patients are feeling right now." But, whether those with medical marijuana needs or recreational he says, "I see that as a right of the constitution for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed."
When asked what happens next, Morgan Humphrey with the Drug Policy Alliance, says ": Well, we continue to fight."
Curtis added, "It's important for all our states to band together to work against whats going on in our industry in DC."
As for Subeck, "This could take a long time to shake out right now. I don't think anything needs to change. I think we're looking at a status quo situation at the moment. That being said the industry, the policymakers we're all going to come together form coalitions and fight this."