Back in October California’s US Attorneys threatened landlords who lease space to medical marijuana dispensaries with criminal prosecution and seizure of property. The dispensaries targeted in this crackdown were given 45 days to “discontinue the sale and/or distribution of marijuana,” or face the consequences, as state medical pot laws offer no protection from federal prosecution.
California has experienced growing pains after becoming the first state to embrace medical marijuana with prop 215 in 1996. As the state has struggled with regulating the booming industry, crackdowns and ordinances aimed at reigning in “pot shops” have become somewhat commonplace, particularly in Los Angeles.
Colorado, by comparison, has experienced less federal interference since amending the State Constitution to allow the use of medical pot in 2000. Nonetheless, federal authorities appear poised to crackdown on medical cannabis in Colorado for the first time on a large scale.
According to CBS4, warning letters – similar to those previously sent by US Attorneys in California – will go out to medical cannabis dispensaries that are located within 1,000 feet of schools (a distance that already factors into sentencing under federal law).
The targeted dispensaries will reportedly be given 45 days to either shut down or relocate.
In Colorado, many of the dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of schools have been approved under local laws. However, as the feds are fond of pointing out, federal law trumps state law.
Medical marijuana advocate and attorney Robert Corry believes “The federal apparatus here has better things to do … My reaction would be the federal government is essentially declaring war on the voters of our state (who) passed a Constitutional amendment.”
The letters have not yet been sent out and it is not clear at the moment when they will be issued.