The Drug Enforcement Administration allegedly threatened doctors associated with medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts, telling them they would lose their federal license to dispense medications unless they severed ties with marijuana companies.

At least three doctors told The Boston Globe and MassLive.com that DEA agents visited their homes or offices with ultimatums. The alleged visits highlight tension between federal law, which prohibits the use of marijuana, and various state laws that have allowed the sale and use of medical and non-medicinal marijuana. Massachusetts voters agreed to allow medical use of marijuana in the state in 2012.

Dr. Samuel Mazza, on the board of a medical marijuana dispensary, told the Globe that he found multiple messages on his answering machine and a DEA business card on his home door upon returning from vacation in February.

“You either give up your [DEA] license or give up your position on the board … or you challenge it in court,” Mazza, chief executive of Debilitating Medical Conditions Treatment Centers, said DEA investigator Gregory Kelly told him upon making contact.

Mazza’s Debilitating Medical Conditions Treatment Centers was one of first 20 dispensaries to receive preliminary state approval to open a medical marijuana firm. He relinquished his prescription license since, he said, it wasn’t required for his part-time job conducting surgery at a Veterans Affairs hospital.

Yet the Globe found two other doctors that had given up their positions on boards of medical marijuana operations.

One doctor who asked the Globe that he stay anonymous told the newspaper that he was offered the same ultimatum by a DEA agent.

“The gist was to get me to either relinquish the DEA license, if I insisted on continuing with the dispensary, or give the license up ‘temporarily’ while involved with the dispensary,” he said.

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