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October 6, 2011

"Feds target Calif. pot dispensaries for closure"

The title of this post is the headline of this new AP article, which get started this way:

Federal prosecutors have launched a crackdown on pot dispensaries in California, warning the stores that they must shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges and confiscation of their property even if they are operating legally under the state's 15-year-old medical marijuana law.

In an escalation of the ongoing conflict between the U.S. government and the nation's burgeoning medical marijuana industry, at least 16 pot shops or their landlords received letters this week stating they are violating federal drug laws, even though medical marijuana is legal in California. The state's four U.S. attorneys were scheduled Friday to announce a broader coordinated crackdown.

Their offices refused Thursday to confirm the closure orders. The Associated Press obtained copies of the letters that a prosecutor sent to at least 12 San Diego dispensaries. They state that federal law "takes precedence over state law and applies regardless of the particular uses for which a dispensary is selling and distributing marijuana."

Over at TalkLeft, Jeralyn in this post right takes Obama and AG Holder to task for this latest pot prohibition move in the wake of their prior comments on this issue.

October 6, 2011 at 07:45 PM | Permalink


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and this is the will of the people??? I guess even the peoples vote is beginning to mean less and less these days.

Posted by: comment | Oct 6, 2011 8:17:23 PM

sounds to me like might be time for calif to issue an EXECUTIVE order that calif law enforcment will resist any federal attempt to override the state's law.

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 6, 2011 9:48:34 PM

So much for democracy in the United States. R.I.P.

Posted by: C.E. | Oct 7, 2011 12:02:17 AM

Also, I suspect this is really good news for illicit drug dealers, especially those who get their marijuana from drug cartels in Mexico or else grow it clandestinely on public property. They must have been feeling a pinch after reputable marijuana suppliers were permitted to operate openly. Now the supply of marijuana shifts back to where it belongs--in the hands of thugs who don't care about niceties like following rules or paying taxes. Of course, this is little solace for the people who genuinely derived a medical benefit from marijuana; they may or may not be able to find a dealer connected to the criminal underground, and their supply will be irregular and its quality uncontrolled. But that's not nearly as important as making sure the DEA and the DOJ flex their power.

Posted by: C.E. | Oct 7, 2011 12:34:23 AM

The same thing is about to happen in Wash DC. The hippies are setting up camp, applying for licenses, and starting grow ops. Right in the Feds FRONT yard. All to make a buck off taxes. How much you wanna bet these ops will be closed down soon after they start?

Posted by: DeanO | Oct 7, 2011 7:52:45 AM

This is a decision from the Attorney General that will mobilize the legalization movement to begin a more cohesive effort for legalization at the federal level. This is the only way to actually end marijuana prohibition. State by state efforts to legalize medical marijuana did start the dialogue, but it could never be the answer. I think this will solidify the legalization movement.

Posted by: beth | Oct 9, 2011 4:48:16 PM

they targeted 16? maybe that is just the first salvo, but it seems like there is no good way to distinguish here, and the only even-handed way to do this (assuming they are committing to doing it) is to shut down every dispensary in the state.

of course, i'd rather that limited federal enforcement dollars go into pursuing violent criminals, detecting terror plots, etc. but, on the other hand, solving real problems is hard -- those other folks i mentioned are harder to find than these pot dispensaries, which are conveniently marked with huge neon pot leaves :)

Posted by: Anon | Oct 11, 2011 12:39:42 PM

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