LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on reaction in California to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind a policy that guided federal authorities to take a hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

California marijuana retailers and growers are calling the change in federal marijuana policy a step backward.

They say U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision Thursday to lift an Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal goes against the will of voters.

California legalized cannabis sales for adults this month, after voters approved it in 2016.

Ryan Jennemann of the Southern California Coalition, a marijuana industry group, says in a statement that Sessions’ decision will hurt patients, drive crime up, encourage growth in the illicit marketplace and kill off jobs.

He says a more sensible path is to fairly tax and regulate cannabis.

Michael Steinmetz, CEO of marijuana distributor Flow Kana, says the industry has flourished through resilience and going against the tide.

He says dealing with the Sessions’ ruling “is no different.”

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2 p.m.

California’s Democratic attorney general says his office will vigorously enforce the state’s new recreational marijuana law despite the threat of a federal crackdown.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra (HAH-vee-air BAH-sehr’-ah) on Thursday criticized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to end a policy directing federal authorities to take a hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement.

He says California voters decided it is best to regulate rather than criminalize cannabis. He says Californians “embrace, not fear, change.”

Becerra says the state’s Department of Justice will do what it can to protect California’s interests.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, another Democrat, is vacationing in Mexico and did not immediately comment.

Sessions’ decision comes three days after California became the largest state to legalize sales of recreational pot. Voters approved the law in 2016.

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1:40 p.m.

A federal provision that bars the Department of Justice from spending federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana operators who are following state laws will expire this month unless Congress reauthorizes it an eighth time.

Legal analysts say that provision, rather than the hands-off marijuana enforcement policy the Trump administration rescinded Thursday, is key to how broadly federal authorities can crack down on pot operators in states where the drug is legal.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, co-wrote the legislation. His office said Thursday that he is working toward keeping the provision in place by the January 19th deadline. But the law doesn’t address recreational use.

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11:30 a.m.

A Northern California sheriff is applauding U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to end a policy that guided federal authorities to take a hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement.

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.

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11:01 a.m.

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.