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Marijuana: John Walsh responds to Boulder DA's letter about feds' MMC policy

Thumbnail image for john walsh.JPG
John Walsh.
Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett recently took issue with U.S. Attorney John Walsh's closure-threat letters to medical marijuana centers within 1,000 feet of schools. After Garnett sent a letter of his own on the topic, a U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman told us Walsh would respond directly to the Boulder DA "at the appropriate time." That's apparently now: Walsh's latest letter is on view below. And he wasn't impressed by Garnett's arguments.

stan garnett photo graph.jpg
Stan Garnett.
One indication of Walsh's antipathy toward MMJ: He puts the phrase "medical marijuana" in quotes after noting that federal law "unambiguously prohibits all sale and distribution of marijuana." He then goes on to note that Justice Department memos counseling U.S. Attorneys around the country about how to deal with medical marijuana in states that have legalized it allow discretion when it comes to enforcement.

Walsh then describes his own view of priorities regarding MMJ. He defines "the protection of children and young people from drugs and drug abuse, very much including marijuana abuse," as the sort of overriding interest that demanded action by his office, especially in light of the industry's boom. An excerpt:

This office has reviewed information from many sources, including our public schools, as well as hospitals and medical professionals, that shows an alarming and substantial spike in marijuana abuse by children and young people during that same period.

When this disturbing information came to the attention of this office, we concluded that our responsibility -- as federal law enforcement officials, and also as Coloradans living in the very Colorado communities impacted by these alarming trends -- required a response.

Hence, the letters threatening to shut down and seize 23 medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools -- a number subsequently downsized by one after it was discovered that a building thought to be a school was actually an administration building.

This program will continue "until all marijuana dispensaries in Colorado operating within 1,000 feet of a school have been warned and have ceased operation," Walsh writes, adding that "this program is not at the direction of Washington, D.C., but at my direction as U.S. Attorney and as a Coloradan."

Referring to the latter designation, Walsh suggests that many other residents feel as he does. He mentions "the outpouring of thanks and appreciation this office has received from Coloradans in affected communities for our program to close marijuana dispensaries near schools."

The Walsh letter is directly below, followed by the missive from Garnett that prompted it.

US Attorney John Walsh Letter to Boulder DA Stan Garnett
Stan Garnett Letter to US Attorney John Walsh

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More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana seizure letters: 22 shops shut, five enforcement actions."


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37 comments
BestMMCInNorthDenver
BestMMCInNorthDenver

I'm happy and sad about all this.  I'm happy because in order for Federal Law to be egregious enough for it to change, there will have to be conflict with states.  Enough conflict to cause an uproar that tears away the shroud that everyone is wearing.

I expect legalization is going to happen a lot faster than people think.

Lokie7
Lokie7

John Walsh is a poster child for the over extension of federal power. He calls himself a Coloradan but he exercises power like a federal jack booted thug as he undermines the wishes of the voters of Colorado.   

ColoradoMMJDispensaryPatient
ColoradoMMJDispensaryPatient

Uhhh - Weren't all of the Colorado dispensaries in Denver closed down immediately, most of which even vacated? Wasn't this done over a month before this letter? Are or are not the best dispensaries in Denver still running strong, unaffected by this action? 

And why would all of this not be true in Boulder? The fact is, is kids have to get marijuana and medical marijuana alike, not from Colorado dispensaries, no matter how close in proximity they are to their school, but from the black market. 

And what crap will they make up to persecute other Colorado dispensaries after Amendment 64 passes? Yet again... Amendment. In our constitution. What's the point of states having their own laws, or states at all for that matter, if you swing in and try to crush things which have made Colorado's economy amazing even in the shadows of recession. 

The best dispensaries in Denver and Colorado will remain strong, and we will lead the nation away from the propaganda of Reefer Madness. The wool which covered so many people's eyes is old, tattered and torn.

By the people. For the people. What our country is founded on. The people will stand strong.

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

dont forget my suit is still going, (11-cv-2578-pab) they are afraid to act on my case, 2 months since i motioned for summary judgment and default judgment right before they filed their void and untimely answer LOL Minus gas,service/process and time its only cost me a few hundred dollars

Shawn Allbritten
Shawn Allbritten

Looks like the Nazis have come back to Colorado. Next we'll be wearing jack boots and screaming "Hail Walsh" at the top of our lungs.

bouncingsoul
bouncingsoul

Somehow I doubt he's as pure and innocent as his pose in this picture suggests. He looks like he thinks he's been "sent from above" to "do good," you know, "for the children." Yes, I can put things in quotes too to suggest it's a diaper load. He placed medical marijuana in quotes, as if it doesn't really exist, except in our minds. If done properly, there won't be any issues between dispensaries and schools. I guarantee it's easier for a minor to get into a liquor store than a dispensary. Thank you for your courage to take a stand and protect our state's freedoms, Mr. Garnett. I think it's pretty obvious Colorado has made its choice. (Except Ft. Collins, who are way too worried about their "image" as "best place to live." They should consider an MMJ patient's quality of life for five seconds before jumping on the bandwagon.)

Jason Lauve
Jason Lauve

This is where we need to stand up together as a community and demand that that John Walsh show us the research and data, put your money where your mouth is, show us the data.  The data can be spun in so many ways and until the information is put on the table by the Federal Government and WE THE PEOPLE make OUR decision about this issue this is unresolved.

The protection of our children and young people is of our utmost concern and to continue with the rhetoric that is spewing from the federal servants is to harm our children in the worst way.  Our children see through the propaganda and lies that have been propagated for so many years, why do you think that we are at this point anyway? 

I love you as a human, but your propaganda is profound.The "reason" there has been an increase in use with teens is due to the fact the the age bracket, which did include teens to a specific age of 16, but that has been changed.  It now includes an older demographic that does have a higher use rate, but that age group has actually seen a decrease in use of Cannabis in the medical states.  It is all about how you spin the data.  I want to see the data so I can respond to the insanity of the Feds. 

LauraK
LauraK

Hopefully Jared Polis lets him have it. 

LarryQ5
LarryQ5

"this program is not at the direction of Washington, D.C., but at my direction as U.S. Attorney and as a Coloradan."    

  Who and how do we contact in Washington DC to report him disobeying a directive from there? He is wasting government resources on a low priority issue to validate his personal views. Look at the arrest rate in NYC. In fact there has been an expose on tv lately showing  his type NYC of attitude.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The exchange between Garnett and Walsh is nothing but pointless posturing.

Walsh is an enemy combatant against the People of Colorado and the United States, and against the constitutions of the State and the United States.  This parasite dares to repeat the lies about ""the protection of children" as motivating his witchhunt, but his only motivation is the aggrandizement of his gang of thugs and the prison-industrial complex of what once was described as "the land of the free".  Walsh and his ilk are a direct and present threat to our lives and liberties -- children and adults in Colorado will be safer when they are removed from power and from society.

Dennis Pielack
Dennis Pielack

John Walsh is abusing the authority entrusred to him by the people. He needs to be replaced.His motive is is what all the power crazy cops claim: they want to protect the children from marijuana. Marijuana does not kill children; law enforcement does. Marijuana does not destroy families; law enforcement does.Let Walsh stay home and take care of his own children. Marijuana users in the millions take care of their children, and have, since way before Walsh was even born.  And those people who support Walsh, good luck when one of your children decides to experiment with marijuana, your family will have a turn at getting busted apart and treated as a sub-human by law enforcement and the courts, which are the best money can buy.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

So we have the AG, MMED, DA's and law enforcement from around the state and John Walsh after the industry that HB-1284 and Sb-109 created.  Damn if only we had a constitution to protect us, that would be nice, but it seems many have given up on the constitution.

Also I take offense to this cocksucker calling himself a Coloradoan. He was born in New York, N.Y., in 1961, another god damn carpetbagger trying to fuck things up in Colorado.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Second wave of enFORCEment to begin in BOULDER !!

Thanks, Stan!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the post, Bouncing Soul. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

lamar vannoy
lamar vannoy

i like your mom and it's no fad. i want to marry her and be your dad!

LauraK
LauraK

his boss banks at the Federal Reserve, they print money for free and loan it out to them whenever they please. 

not hard to run a budget like that. 

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

What wasted resources?

It only costs John Walsh 45¢ to send a letter to the school-encroaching dispensaries, reminding them that they face TWICE the minimum mandatory Federal Prison sentence for their continuous criminal enterprises.

The dispensary owners can ignore the letter ... at their peril. Attorney Rob Corry claims the Feds are just bluffing anyway.

And what "directive" are you referring to ?

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

"Save the children !!!" ... "Save the children!!!"

43 children have died under the supervision of Colorado's child welfare system the last 5 years: http://www.denverpost.com/news...

100 people die a day from prescription drug use and abuse. 100 A DAY !!!

10s of thousands, including children, die or are injured in alcohol related accidents.

100s of children die from TVs falling on them.

Swimming pools are a much bigger danger to children than mmj.

"Save the children !!!" ... "Save the children!!!"I just love sound bite wisdom, don't you ? Apparently, the 10th Amendment and the people and Constitution of Colorado mean nothing if you just want to save the children.

Wouldn't it be refreshing to have those who suck on the taxpayers tit demonstrate something other than ignorance ?

Love the "Roach" (DEA) saying that mj has NO medical use. Her kids will get their drugs at school like everyone else's - and like I did years before there were dispensaries to blame.

David

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

SB10-109 and HB10-1284 did not create an industry; hundreds of dispensaries had opened and were doing business before Romer put his foot in his mouth on the subject.  While the unconstituional laws mandated that those that wanting to continue to help patients self-incriminate, this has nothing to do with Obama's about-face on medical cannabis and the US Department of Injustice's threats.

LarryQ5
LarryQ5

It certainly cost money to send goon squads to verify compliance. I would think he had to pay someone to research, type, and address the letters, etc. If they had to actually raid a place, that would also be costly.

I should have said (Ogden) memo instead of directive. The point being he is doing this on his behalf and not at the direction of his superiors, in fact in direct conflict with it.

Just wondering if perhaps a petition to his superiors (as well as a few levels higher) wouldn't at least bring a bit of aggravation to him. Just a thought.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

So you support teenagers and children having access to marijuana ?

If it's the "harmless" "miracle plant" "that never killed anyone" as the promoters claim, they why would you deny anyone access to it ?

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Quite the post, Patient. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Shan Moore
Shan Moore

cannabis saves children's lives too

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

The greedy Big $$ Dispensary carpetbaggers who bum-rushed the State circa 2008 are the ones responsible for the destruction of what was the MMJ industry in Colorado.

Amendment 20 never authorized Retail Dispensaries.Amendment 20 never authorized Commercial Grows.

The Puerile Pot Clown Show promoted by the avaricious for-profit Dispensary lobby is the direct cause of the unconstitutional disaster that HB1284 et. seq. created.

***** Vote NO on deceptive Amendment 64 !! *****

It's nothing more than HB1284 for everyone ! -- Don't get fooled again!.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

So you hate "The Government".

You and every other Teabagger out there.

In a Democracy, The People get the Government they DESERVE!

Self-loath much ?

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

I loved America, may she rest in peace.  I hate Amerika because of people like John Walsh.

BTW - Are you on the payroll of the DEA or Korrections Korporation of Amerika, or do you just spew prohibitionist propaganda for the sheer joy of it?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time!

Why do you hate America ?

Really_WOW
Really_WOW

 Walsh was appointed in 2009 by loser obama. Suthers is our elected official and the only one that can be re-called. A petition will do nothing but place everybody on the petition on notice of federal intervention.

Still on the "save the children" sermon still. Well then when will there be a crackdown on alcohol and big pharm for killing "our children" How about all the liqour stores within 1000' of a school? Get you head out of your ass and stop the meth and herion trade that has taken over Colorado!!!!!!! What a waste of human skin these pricks are!!!

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

Good point Donkey.  To paraphrase, Cole said, "We won't hassle people who use marijuana, or those who provide it to them without profit.  We will protect the interests of our masters, like the good puppets we are, by CRUSHING anyone who tries to compete with the pharmaceutical industry."

Guest
Guest

I think children and teenagers should have to buy brick packed shit Mexi in the projects like I used to when I was a teenager. "Kids, are you witnessing all this plight?" Why let them into dispensaries? Make 'em nervously pick up nickels of the Sinaloa Special in the hood. Keep it out of our (white) neighboorhoods, and away from our (white) schools. It's about the children! Well, the WHITE children, anyway. Right, John Walsh? Right?

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