What impact does federal crackdown on marijuana have on AZ's medicinal program?


The federal government is taking a hard-line stance against marijuana programs. Arizona is one of 29 states that have approved medicinal or recreational marijuana laws.

[Original story: US to end policy that let legal pot flourish]

"We're simply reverting back to where we were when Arizona's law started," said JP Holyoak, who owns a grow facility that supplies Arizona Natural Selections, a medical marijuana facility.

He's reeling after attorney general Jeff Sessions' announcement Thursday, rolling back an Obama-era policy that took allowed states to legalize marijuana without federal intervention. Now, Sessions said U.S. Attorneys should treat those cases like any other case.

"This is the federal government coming in and telling states, 'No, sorry, we don’t like the laws your state passed and we know better than what your state does,'" Holyoak said.

So what does this mean for his business?

"The idea of feds coming in and shutting down a state legal business is probably unlikely, but certainly remains within the realm of possibility," Holyoak said.

Holyoak added that if the federal government wants to shut down the program, patients will just go to the black market.

"It simply takes this and puts it back in the hands of criminals and criminal organizations," Holyoak said.

"The pot industry wants people to think that marijuana is harmless, it is not," said Yavapai county attorney Sheila Polk. She told us that the patchwork system we have now from state to state is chaotic.

"I think these are debates that need to happen at the federal level, and that’s how democracy works," Polk said.

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