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All Targeted Pot Shops Facing Deadline Close

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Medical Marijuana (credit: Colorado Department of Transportation)

Medical Marijuana (credit: Colorado Department of Transportation)

DENVER (AP) – All 22 Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries that received letters telling them to cease operation for being within 1,000 feet of a school are closed, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Denver said Tuesday.

Jeff Dorschner said Drug Enforcement Administration agents went to all of the shops targeted Tuesday and used enforcement action to enter five dispensaries to determine if they were still open. Search warrants were used at four of the dispensaries, and a property owner consented to a search at a fifth location.

Upon entering, the agents verified that there was no sale or distribution of marijuana and that the locations had closed for business, Dorschner said.

Dorschner said the majority of shops targeted by the attorney’s office were in the Denver area. A dispensary in the Boulder area and two shops in southern Colorado also received letters.

There were originally 23 dispensaries on the list to close by Monday. Dorschner said one shop had its letter withdrawn last month after it was discovered the school building it were located near was no longer educating children.

The shops had been given a 45-day deadline to move, shut down, or face civil or criminal action.

“This effort is about protecting children from illegal drugs, and maintaining drug free zones around our schools in compliance with federal law,” U.S. Attorney John Walsh said in a written statement.

Dorschner said Monday that there would be more letters going out to more dispensaries located near schools. It has not been determined when those letters will go out or how many will receive them.

Colorado has about 700 medical marijuana dispensaries. A voter-approved state law allows for marijuana use for medical reasons, but the drug remains illegal under federal law.

- By Rema Rahman, Associated Press

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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