Colorado: US attorney orders more dispensaries closed

Posted on March 28th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cannabisColorado's top federal prosecutor ordered 25 medical marijuana dispensaries located near schools to close in a new series of letters issued March 23. US Attorney John Walsh warned owners of the establishments that they have 45 days to shut down or "action will be taken to seize and forfeit their property," his office said in a press statement. Walsh's office said the letters were sent to dispensaries that violate a state law requiring cannabis dispensaries be at least 1,000 feet from a school. He sent a similar ultimatum to 23 cannabis dispensaries that violated the buffer law in January. He said no enforcement measure was taken because those locations all ceased cannabis sales.

Colorado law specifies that dispensaries must be at least 1000 feet from schools, but also allows local governments to decrease that distance. "I think it is absolutely offensive that John Walsh is usurping and interfering with the power of the state on this issue," said Lauren Davis, a Denver medical marijuana attorney. "These towns spent a lot of time considering these issues and writing the legislation they believe was reasonable and looking out for the safety of their community."

Earlier this month, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett wrote Walsh a letter calling for the federal government to back off from targeting dispensaries that comply with the state medical marijuana law passed by voters in 2000. "I can see no legitimate basis in this judicial district to focus the resources of the United States government on the medical marijuana dispensaries that are otherwise compliant with Colorado law or local regulation," Garnett wrote. (Reuters, March 24)

Added national cannabis advocate Aaron Houston: "Obama promised in 2007 that he would stop the DEA’s heartless raids on medical marijuana establishments and their caregivers. The US attorney has not pointed to a single case of students buying marijuana at dispensaries. It’s just not happening. If there are people redistributing, then they should focus on prosecuting those people." (CBS4, Denver, March 25; Denver Post, March 23)

Photo by the Mad Pothead




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