LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Democratic leaders are condemning U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to rescind a policy that guided federal authorities to take a hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement in states that legalized use of the drug.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said Thursday that Sessions' decision had bulldozed the will of voters and flew in the face of his support for states' rights.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says the Trump administration is pursuing a failed path by criminalizing marijuana and is waging a "cynical" war against California.
Newsom, who is running for governor, says the state will pursue all legal, legislative and political options to protect its reforms.
Sessions' decision comes three days after California became the largest state to legalize sales of recreational pot. Voters approved the law in 2016.
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said Thursday that he's encouraged by Sessions' actions.
Much of the enforcement of marijuana laws has fallen to rural local authorities in Northern California where most of the crop is grown.
The Siskiyou Board of Supervisors declared a local state of emergency last year and called on Gov. Jerry Brown to help Lopey crack down on a dramatic influx of illegal marijuana farmers.
Lopey had asked Sessions to rescind the policy that guided federal authorities to allow operations to exist if they abided by state law, but to crack down on activities such as trafficking and selling to minors.