Feds Say They Aren’t Bluffing About Dispensary Crackdown

DENVER (CBS4) – U.S. Attorney John Walsh is rebuffing claims the federal government is sitting idly by as Colorado enacts laws to regulate the booming medical marijuana industry.

The dispensaries have 45 days to shut down, and if they don’t shut down they will face possible seizure and maybe even criminal charges.

Just how many dispensaries are within 1,000 feet of schools isn’t clear. What is, is a letter sent to 23 dispensaries so far by Walsh and it will be going to many more.

“That was not intended to be the end of it. We intend to send letters of this kind, warning letters, to every marijuana dispensary or cultivation site in the state of Colorado that are within 1,000 feet of schools,” Walsh said.

The distance is measured from the door of a dispensary to the property line of the school. The letter gives the dispensaries 45 days to shut down or face federal enforcement action.

“I think this is a bluff. The federal government is bluffing. They don’t have the stomach for this fight,” medical marijuana attorney Rob Corry said.

“It is a not a bluff and I would hope that no dispensary that received one of these letters would make that assumption because it would not be a good for thing for them to assume,” Walsh said.

What makes this a dilemma for dispensaries is that many near schools have been grandfathered in under state or local laws.

Walsh also has a warning for dispensaries that are not within 1,000 feet of a school.

“I would say they need to recognize that their activities are against federal law and they cannot assume that there would not an enforcement action on this issue,” Walsh said.

The first deadline is Feb. 27 for dispensaries that received letters to shut down.

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  • 420 Colorado

    DEA must Die! You have 45 Days to Surrender your threats or be met with equal threat! This is not a bluff!

    • Colorado Cannabis Militia

      Expect lots of guns, sniper fire, booby trapped grows and militia ready to fight to the death if you are seen withing 1000 feet of a dispensary. This is not a Bluff!

  • mike

    the state needs to step up and protect it’s state laws against these thugs, tell the feds if they interfer with state law they will be arrested

  • Malcolm Kyle

    It’s time for us all to stop being ignorant hypocrites and start being TRUE conservatives!

    Pragmatic libertarians (minimal-statists) and “true” Conservatives agree that many, if not most, of society’s problems are caused by government usurping choices that could better be made by individuals and that government is just about the worst way of doing almost anything. Where libertarianism normally parts company with “fake” conservatism is over moral issues. But a true conservative would have no problem with agreeing, that what people do with their own bodies, and especially in the privacy of their own home, should be supremely their business, and that anything else would entail ignoring the basic tenet of limited government.

    Fake-Conservatism on the other hand has much in common with socialism; Both Leftists and Fake-Conservatives appear to harbor the belief that nature does not exist and that any human can be anything he wants to be, or can for the “greater good”, be “re-educated” into being. Leftists therefore think little boys can be conditioned into preferring dolls over toy soldiers, and similarly Fake-conservatives believe that adults can be coerced into choosing alcohol over marijuana. A true conservative, just like a pragmatic libertarian, would immediately reject both ideas as nonsense.

    If you support prohibition then you are NOT a conservative.
    Conservative principles, quite clearly, ARE:

    1) Limited, locally controlled government.
    2) Individual liberty coupled with personal responsibility.
    3) Free enterprise.
    4) A strong national defense.
    5) Fiscal responsibility.

    Prohibition is actually an authoritarian War on the economy, the Constitution and all civic institutions of our great nation.

    It’s all about the market and cost/benefit analysis. Whether any particular drug is good, bad, or otherwise is irrelevant! As long as there is demand for any mind altering substance, there will be supply; the end! The only affect prohibiting it has is to drive the price up, increase the costs and profits, and where there is illegal profit to be made criminals and terrorists thrive.

    The cost of criminalizing citizens who are using substances no more harmful than similar things that are perfectly legal like alcohol and tobacco, is not only hypocritical and futile, but also simply not worth the incredible damage it does.

    Afghani farmers produce approx. 93% of the world’s opium which is then, mostly, refined into street heroin then smuggled throughout Eastern and Western Europe.

    Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of this very easily grown crop, which means that Prohibition is the “Goose that laid the golden egg” and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Only those opposed, or willing to ignore this fact, want things the way they are.


    • Alan Lenich

      here here

  • denvervet

    Lets not forget this is a “controlled substance” for a reason. People tend to forget that. Rather than having “any” Dr. prescribe pot we should have some Drs trained about pot and its use in medicine, like a “pot doc”. This will cut down on people using the drug who just want to get high. I would estimate these people at about 90% of the legal users. Since this is a controlled substance, lets put it in pharmacies like all other controlled substances, duh?

    • Linda Rockhold

      That this is a controlled substance is indicative of an ignorant mind-set that goes back to the 1950s. Millions of people world-wide discovered that marijuana is not dangerous, not a gateway drug and in fact, true addicts think “pot heads” are a joke,. That being said, this issue is about Medical Marijuana, which has valid and tested effects on disease. Even if the only effect of ingesting marijuana is to relax the patient, isn’t that a huge benefit? I know of wealthy people who have imported marijuana from Amsterdam for their terminal family members and I applaud them.
      People without any knowledge at all are damning this substance, based on word-of-mouth or perceived dangers. The truth is that compared to alcohol or tobacco, or chemical pain relievers with numerous effects, marijuana is the least dangerous drug of all-time.

    • Common Sense Police

      “Lets not forget this is a “controlled substance” for a reason”. What would that reason be denvervet? Is it because of marijuana’s effect on the degenerate races, you know, mexicans, darkies and jazz musicians? Does it make black people think they are the equals of white people? Will one puff of a marijuana cigarette likely make you kill your own brother? Last century called, they’ed like their reefer madness back. Stop wasting time and money on marijuana. I’m sick and tired of seeing this day after day after day……. Marijuana is HARMLESS. We have mountains of peer reviewed studies proving it is a very effective and safe medicine, a very safe and effective recreational drug, and a very safe and effective religious sacrament. Where is the grey area, where is the conflict for those who wish to keep waging war on American citizens? It is a black and white issue, prohibition is a failure, again. Keeping marijuana illegal puts money in the pockets of the cartels who love selling to children. Why is this still happening?

      • Linda Rockhold

        I am still ROFLOL, at “Last century called, they want their “Reefer Madness” back.” These people (against medical marijuana) are either the ultimate in ignorance or think they are losing money somehow. Perhaps political posturing comes into this. My friend has a saying, “You can’t fix stupid”. that I disagree with. I try to believe that people are concerned with the truth and want the best for their fellow man.
        But perhaps my optimism is just another species of ignorance.

  • Tom Loughlin

    How about new schools built within 1000′ of a dispensary. They should be stopped! Quid Pro Quo

  • Phillip Barton

    This is a Federal Job Program. US Attorney John Walsh is making entrepreneurs relocate or close. Relocation = construction. Closer = loss of rent, utility, & jobs = loss of revenue = drain on taxes the working voter pays. The federal employees get payed to go and seize and destroy the hard work of Colorado’s Entrepreneurs. What Up… Governor Hickenlooper? John Walsh is doing his JOB, using TAXES to put VOTERS in PRISON. This supports more Federal Employees. Like I said, it’s a Federal Jobs Program.
    Let’s not forget, The FEDERAL ACTION is to protect COLOADO’S CHILDREN in LEARNING environments from people who has EDUCATED them-self on the multiple uses of CANNABIS.

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