DENVER (CBS4) – The U.S. attorney for Colorado is launching another crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries.
John Walsh has now put 25 marijuana dispensaries operating near schools on notice. As of Friday they have 45 days to close or they’ll run the risk of having their property seized.
The latest warning notice went out Friday. It impacts 25 medical marijuana dispensaries that are within 1,000 feet of a school. Now medical marijuana advocates are fuming.
When one Denver shop was forced to close last month because it was 1,000 feet from a school pro-marijuana attorney Brian Vicente believes the owner took a financial beating.
“It could cost upwards of $100,000 to open these stores, so it’s a considerable investment that these stores have made in these communities and that’s being yanked out from under them,” Vicente said.
“Federal law provides for a drug free zone around schools. Congress has directed us to protect school areas from drug trafficking,” Walsh said.
The U.S. attorney’s closure order comes as hundreds of students seeking marijuana legalization nationwide gathered in Denver this weekend. A national coordinator for the students says the president is going back on a campaign promise.
“Obama promised in 2007 that he would stop the DEA’s heartless raids on medical marijuana establishments and their caregivers,” national marijuana advocate Aaron Houston said.
“We had been receiving more and more information about the negative impact that the easy availability of marijuana was having on teenagers in particular,” Walsh said.
“The U.S. attorney has not pointed to a single case of students buying marijuana at dispensaries. It’s just not happening. If there are people redistributing, then they should focus on prosecuting those people,” Houston said.
Next week dispensary owners facing closure will be discussing what they can do to stay open.