Marijuana: U.S. Attorney "not bluffing" about seizing dispensaries near schools

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John Walsh.
Attorney Rob Corry unwittingly provided U.S. Attorney John Walsh with a make-my-day moment. Corry recently told 9News that seizure letters sent to 23 dispensaries near schools were a "colossal bluff." During a round of media interviews, Walsh begged to differ. "We are not bluffing," he says. "We sent warning letters to give these facilities an opportunity to shut down. If they don't, they will face legal enforcement action from us. Promptly."

U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner says the dispensaries that received letters are within 1,000 feet of schools as measured from the shop's front door to the property line of the educational facility -- the same measurement used by the City of Denver, according to attorney Warren Edson, who believed the office was employing a property-line-to-property-line standard. And Walsh believes the shut-down threat is justified under federal law, which sees all marijuana as illegal, regardless of state authorizations for medical use.

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"By statute, Congress has directed us to protect the areas around schools as a drug-free zone," he says. "And specifically, Congress has established enhanced penalties within 1,000 feet of schools."

As such, the office's action shouldn't be considered a usurpation of local zoning measures, as argued by National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith. "This is not a question of local zoning," Walsh stresses. "It's a question of important federal anti-drug-trafficking enforcement -- and we're enforcing it."

While the majority of dispensaries targeted thus far are in the Denver area, Walsh makes it clear that "our intention is for warning letters of this kind to go out to all dispensaries or marijuana cultivation facilities within 1,000 feet of schools in the entire state of Colorado."

Yes, that means grows will be targeted along with dispensaries -- and at this point, Walsh doesn't know how many there'll be of either. In his words, "We're working on identifying those facilities now."

Is it possible that future letters could be sent to dispensaries within 1,000 feet of parks, as has happened in California? "In respect to expanding, we don't normally discuss future enforcement matters," Walsh says. "Frankly, we're considering other important federal interests, but we're not in a position to disclose where that goes." Besides, "there are quite a few facilities within 1,000 feet of schools. That is our focus, and it will take us a while to get through that."

The crackdown has renewed fears among medical marijuana patients, some of whom fear that by providing Colorado's Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division with details of their cannabis use, they've essentially provided the government with all the information they need to be convicted of a federal crime. But while Walsh confirms that "we have a good working relationship with the state Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division folks" (he declines to provide more details), he shows no appetite for going after individuals or their personal caregivers, as differentiated from dispensaries.

Page down to continue reading our interview with U.S. Attorney John Walsh.


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tgtree11
tgtree11

We have recently begun to accept new members for 2011-2012 and walk-ins are always welcome. We have lowered our pricing and now offer a 10% discount for Veterans & Students (with valid ID) and HIV & Cancer patients.  (All our TOP SHELF 1/8’s are capped at $40).  Since opening our doors in 2009 our Denver dispensary has stood by our product and offered a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. http://www.tgtree.com/

tgtree88
tgtree88

We have recently begun to accept new members for 2011-2012 and walk-ins are always welcome. We have lowered our pricing and now offer a 10% discount for Veterans & Students (with valid ID) and HIV & Cancer patients.  (All our TOP SHELF 1/8’s are capped at $40).  Since opening our doors in 2009 our Denver dispensary has stood by our product and offered a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. http://www.tgtree.com/

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Federal Crimes are real crimes, even when committed within the borders of a State. 

No one is forcing anyone to open a Dispensary, all the profit-seeking players do so with the full knowledge that they are committing numerous Federal felonies every single day. It's a risk they willingly accept, so there should be no whining when their pecuniary gamble does not pay off.

And no one believes the off-repeated absurd lie that the only choices for marijuana users are Dispensaries or "dangerous street criminals". It's a pathetic pro-dispensary propaganda, an utterly false dichotomy. Amendment 20 clearly allows patients to GROW THEIR OWN, or appoint a PRIVATE individual care-giver to grow it for them. No "dangerous street criminals" needed.

The more the pro-pot clowns and big$$ dispensary shills repeat this blatantly false LIE, the less the voters are willing to accept or listen to whatever else you may have to say.

Stop the LIES, stoners, you're fucking yourselves ... again.

ZongMooo
ZongMooo

Here is a big Middle Finger Salute to the US Attorney, Im she he is bought and paid for!Total-Privacy dot US

Edgarhomo
Edgarhomo

The US Attorney in Arizona (Cunningham) who was a primary plank-owner on Operation Fast & Furious, is pleading the Fifth !   The entire DOJ has become a frigen clown camp!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

DOI -- Department of Injustice

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

A Democracy gets the government it Deserves.

Ipso facto.

tgtree88
tgtree88

We have recently begun to accept new members for 2011-2012 and walk-ins are always welcome. We have lowered our pricing and now offer a 10% discount for Veterans & Students (with valid ID) and HIV & Cancer patients.  (All our TOP SHELF 1/8’s are capped at $40).  Since opening our doors in 2009 our Denver dispensary has stood by our product and offered a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. http://www.tgtree.com/

Guesto
Guesto

Lets all give 2 minute speeches at the Republican Caucasus on Feb 7th. I am going to give one on MMJ and how voting for Ron paul would allow our state government to keep the millions of dollars in tax revenues they are going to need to fight their budget crisis!!!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

They will not care.  If you gave the same speeches at the Democratic caucus, they would not care much.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

How does one go about getting in on this?  I'd like to be a famous marijuana advocate too!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Once again Rob Corry's mouth is writing checks his scrawny ass can't cash.

Lady
Lady

I dont know about scrawny, when he was so drunk he fell on the afforementioned ass it didnt seem to hurt him enough to stop his mouth from running... Actually I think he was removed from the MMED advisory panel because his robust man breasts were too distracting for Dan Hartman.... 

PartisansBlow
PartisansBlow

All the more reason to pass ANY legalization act this Fall. And for more states to keep pushing med bills. More states = more pressure. At some point we reach critical mass where they simply can't maintain their facade any longer. 25 states? 30? A couple w/ legalization? They can't win that battle. Let's keep on keeping on and push for more and more states to join us. They will be exposed sooner or later because even the great lies don't last forever and this lie straight fucking sucks and more and more people are figuring that out. Oh and for the love of GAWD, get your asses out and caucus for Ron Paul. I realize he ain't winning, but higher support also sends a mention of general pissed-off-id-ness at the status quo. 

Guest
Guest

Can we close new schools that are built within 1000' of an established dispensary?

Dudesandgirls80
Dudesandgirls80

the govt don't want weed legalized they say it makes people peacfull or passive,they want warriors ready to fight a war.

Guestman
Guestman

If there are similar laws for liqour stores and bars this hardley seems unfair (I don't know if there is).  I can understand why parents would not want dispensaries right across the street from schools.  There is a time and place for everything, it's called college.

Anonymous
Anonymous

U.S. Attorney John Walsh was appointed by Obama.  Obama's campaign pledge to not circumvent state laws on the issue of medical marijuana  was a lie.  John Walsh's threats are being directed by Obama.

Guesto
Guesto

Obama a bold faced liar? I can't believe this !~!!!

Ron Paul 2012 

Anonymous
Anonymous

Write the president. http://www.whitehouse.gov/cont...If he thinks he'll lose your vote in the 2012 election to Ron Paul he won't care, splitting the republican ticket will only help him.  But a vote for Mitt Romney will hurt him.  And let's be frank, Obama and Mitt are cut from the same cloth so you're not hurting yourself if Mitt wins the election.

Jaded
Jaded

Already written him, signed petitions, etc. I'm voting against him regardless of the person he is up against unless some drastic changes are made before the primaries. If I am going to get fucked over by my president I'd rather it came from someone that was honest about whag they plan to do. Mitt Romney, Gingrinch, Santorum, and George W. Bush would handle these issuea just like obama has, they just wouldn't lie about it. Round 1 vote for ron paul. Round 2 give me whatever the republican flavor of the day is. Later obama.

Mark Slaugh
Mark Slaugh

John Walsh is ignorantly digging a hole for the US Justice Department and Colorado is in a much better position to defend itself against these actions. If John brings suit against the federal government he only has himself to blame.

Guesto
Guesto

won't hurt them at all. 

will go through appellate, and then if we are lucky the supreme court. 

which justice would you think might rule on the constitutionality of the drug war? scalia?

probably none of them. vote Ron Paul and then hope for some deaths in the supreme court and we might have a shot. 

Ron Paul 2012 

Government of the People til Infinity 

Colforbin
Colforbin

Attorney Rob Corry unwittingly provided U.S. Attorney John Walsh with a make-my-day moment. Corry recently told 9News that seizure letters sent to 23 dispensaries near schools were a "colossal bluff."

UNWITTINGLY MY ASS!!!!!. this fucking cockroach is just ensuring future bussiness for himself. if I was a client of Mr Corry's I would bitch slap that fuck for taunting the feds. Corry is the ambulance chaser of cannabis lawyers

Monkey
Monkey

This is a systematic breakdown. If they attacked everyone at once, they would ban together and create a nightmare for the feds, they would never be able to fight them all at once. This way they can divide and conquer, keeping most their enemy saying "who cares, I'm not near a school". After you get rid of them without complaints from their peers they will move to something else like parks. Giving people the impression there are safe places to be, confuses their enemy into believing them and abandoning their peers, which are really their competition. They are feeding off your greed, making you believe there is a possibility you will be the one left standing but the truth is they just want you to keep standing until they get around to you. The war on cannabis is raging in Colorado and they are using war tactics. Everyone needs to fight back now or everyone will fall later. You better ban together, you don't have many supporters outside your industry, even many patients and caregivers don't care if MMCs get closed.

Guesto
Guesto

I remember in the 90s people came from all over to Boulder, and set up shop looking for herb on the Hill, usually in front of the Boulder Boardwalk (now QDoba.)

I was pretty heavily involved in that scene for a long time before it completely evaporated, but for the two years before it disappeared I had left town and lost contact w/ most of those people. 

When I got back to Boulder years later I found that the entire Marijuana economy on the Hill was gone, and so was the arcade, and I didn't think much of it.

Only later when I mentioned this to a friend did a I find out that West Metro Drug Task Force had done this to the Hill. 

First they set up a surveillance office, with cameras on rooftops, and a team of rapidly changing informants, and they started building their case and making arrests.

Nobody every became privy to this though, because they would wait for a major player to walk or drive home, and then once they got 10-15 blocks off the Hill, they would snatch them up. Nobody was really savvy enough to ask questions about people disappearing, so they didn't stop selling weed, and eventually they all got hemmed up.

True story. 

Trick James
Trick James

Not everyone... Just the dummies.

Guesto
Guesto

Of course everyone didn't get arrested, but did anyone remain on the Hill selling marijuana? They eradicated everybody one way other another. Some just stopped voluntarily.  

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

John Walsh and his bosses are rabid animals tearing at the fabric of our society.  They are not fit to be citizens of this country, much less to continue to roam free.  Any act of resistance against these fascists is completely justified.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

HipTip: Stoners and Marijuana are not "the fabric of our society" ...

Hyperbole FAIL!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The War on Americans costs in excess of forty billion dollars annually in direct costs, but the indirect costs to society (e.g. lost productivity and the breakup of families) are incalculably greater.  People who do not use cannabis and people who do are the fabric of our society, and the Department of Injustice and Walsh are acting to destroy it -- better that they be annihilated instead!

fucking nobody
fucking nobody

Jesus Christ. What you people don't seem to get, is the government doesn't give a fuck about what you say, or what you think. They want the MMCs and growers gone. They don't care where you go, just go. You do not have the lobbying power of Big Pharmaceutical. Shut down, and go for real legalization, but for fucks sake, be honest. You all just want to get high. Doesn't make you bad people. I do too. But be up front about it. This is the first volley in a war on all CO dispensaries. The writing is on the wall. If it's not schools and parks, it will be something else.They know that liquor stores, and bars, and cigarette companies sell death. They know. They don't care. Weed doesn't pay the bills, smokes and booze do. They know all the crap about hemp clothing, and paper, and fuel, and blah blah blah, they don't care. Doesn't matter. The government wants you to go away. Grow it in our basement. If you believe one goddamn word this Walsh asshole says, then you are a fool. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU! And, don't forget, when the cops come knocking on your door, don't tell them a fucking thing without a lawyer. 

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

/\ /\ /\  My vote for Comment of the Day.  If there was a "Cannabis Comment of the Year" category, it would get my vote for that too.  Pretty well sums up the situation.  Anybody claiming otherwise is delusional.

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

I'm running out to make up my "fucking nobody for President" tshirts right now.  It would be sooo refreshing to have a president who tells the truth for a change.

GetReal
GetReal

If cannabis is allowed to be called "drugs" since it contains THC, should coffee also be called "drugs" since it contains caffeine?  Also, same for alcoholic beverages. 

So, it the future you are not having coffee and donuts, you are having drugs and donuts.  At the next Rockies game, you are not enjoying a hotdog with beer, you are enjoying a hotdog with drugs.

Jaded
Jaded

Sugar is addictive too and public schools load kids up on sugar milk every day and nobody in this country seems to care. Foreigner jamie oliver tried to open our eyes but the feds don't care. Kids are addicted to sugar and the u.s. government is their drug pusher.

KaDargo
KaDargo

So, as kids and young adults begin to make the rational choice to use a safer substance, the federal government's response is to limit access to that substance forcing those people to go back to the more harmful substances.

I vote to close all the Starbucks.  This caffeine addiction problem is getting way out of hand.

Meanwhile bar and breweries continue to spew impaired drivers onto our roadways, apparently that's not a problem?  Why are they allowed to enable this behavior?

KDango
KDango

Why are you allowed to keep talking?  Go smoke your bath salts, bitch.

KaDargo
KaDargo

It's called the 1st Amendment....

Bath salts?  No thanks.  That shit is the result of a much safer substance be illegal.  I'll stick to the much safer substance.

Robert Corry
Robert Corry

I don't know much, but I do know if you are bluffing, you don't admit to bluffing.  That is the point of a bluff.  There are 1000 dispensaries, grows, centers, and edibles manufacturers in Colorado, and the US Attorney can't go after all of them with his resources.  He will then only go after some, which is selective / discriminatory enforcement, providing a legal defense to any he does go after and creating the appearance of corruption and favoritism.  Bring it on.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

How much does it cost to send a letter, these days ?  I know the price went up.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

It's amazing you haven't been disbarred yet ...

... how'd that "selective / discriminatory enforcement" defense work for Chris "living the dream" Bartkowicz ?

Idiot.

Allamny
Allamny

"I don't know much..." I stopped reading after that. But I agree with you. 

Guesto
Guesto

John Walsh's employer is the biggest counterfeiter of money in the world, and they are about to raise the debt ceiling AGAIN.

So who doesn't have enough resources??? Certainly not the DEA. 

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

If you are Robert J. Corry, you are being disingenuous; you know a lot.  I like your rhetoric, but I do think that even in public you should include a disclaimer to the effect that those who choose to resist the fascists risk prison.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

It's not Robert Corry.  Robert Corry can contact Westword anytime and get his words published, the forums are for us pee-ons, not Colorado's huge pot attorneys.

Donkey Hotay's Dog
Donkey Hotay's Dog

This is such BS.  So dispensaries should feel safe b/c they can't go after all of them? Who says they don't have the resources to go after all of them??? All they need is one raid, one seizure of property and equipment, one auction of said property and equipment, and they have enough "resources" to raid someone else. The resources of the feds will never run out to pursue pot smokers. You are living in fantasy-land.

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