A week after federal authorities tightened oversight of marijuana, advocates in Massachusetts organized a "stay away from our medicine" rally.
The Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance protested in front of the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston on Thursday, calling for state and federal leaders to respect and protect medical marijuana.
The group says most Massachusetts dispensaries, which are licensed by the state, are no longer processing debit transactions because of new federal policies.
Last Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that limited federal prosecution of state-run marijuana industries, both medical and recreational.
Andrew Lelling, the state's new U.S. attorney, said he can't give assurances that people in Massachusetts will be immune from prosecution since the use of marijuana is still prohibited federally.
Officials with Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance say they are disappointed.
"I was disappointed but we also sort of expected it. It's an unpredictable administration," said Nichole Snow with the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance.
Michelle Novick Herman, who attended Thursday's rally in Boston, said she and her daughter moved to Massachusetts from Florida to legally purchase medical marijuana. But that right could be in jeopardy now.
"I have a daughter who has special needs and we are here basically for one reason — she has seizures," Novick Herman said. "We did everything legally and now we're being told that no it's not it's very scary."
Others worry that people using medical marijuana will turn to other drugs or the streets.
"Unfortunately it's really hard to get the right amount of pills you want, so what do you do -- people go to the street. I won't do that because I'm a mother, I don't know what would happen," Novick Herman said.