Feds Warn 23 Colo. Marijuana Dispensaries to Shut Down
Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh has been busy filling in names to his latest form letter, warning 23 Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries to shut down within 45 days or face forfeiture of their businesses and any financial proceeds generated, as well as enhanced criminal charges.
The reason: The dispensaries are operating within 1,000 feet of a school, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 860(a). The letter is here. The press release is here. Similar letters were also sent to the landlords of the businesses and property owners. Landlords were warned about 21 USC 856(a).
The most significant line in the letter:
"The Department of Justice has the authority to enforce the federal law even when such activities may be permitted under state law."
What about the Odgen Memo? Walsh insists his letters are in compliance with it: [More...]
The Department of Justice has earlier provided U.S. Attorneys with guidance in the form of a memo written by then Deputy Attorney General David Ogden in 2009, later amplified by Deputy Attorney General James Cole in 2011. Those memos address resource issues, and set forth parameters for individual U.S. Attorneys to exercise their discretion to handle marijuana trafficking matters, including marijuana trafficking near schools. Today’s action is pursuant to and consistent with the guidance given by the Department of Justice in these memos.
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