Medical marijuana superstores possible federal targets in Colorado?

marijuana photo cropped.JPG
U.S. Attorney John Walsh has sent out two waves of closure-threat letters to medical marijuana dispensaries near schools -- and his spokesman reveals that a third wave is coming. But could Walsh's targets in Colorado expand to so-called marijuana superstores, as has taken place in California? His office rep says there are no such plans at present, but at least one advocate is concerned.

The official leading this charge on the West Coast is U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, widely regarded to be a hardliner on medical marijuana. She's among the pioneers of targeting medical marijuana businesses near schools, plus parks, playgrounds and anywhere else children might gather.

During early 2011, in response to a request for guidance about MMJ regulations submitted by Oakland's city attorney, she sent a letter that features a passage essentially outlining her philosophy on this subject. It reads:

The prosecution of individuals and organizations involved in the trade of any illegal drugs and the disruption of drug trafficking organizations is a core priority of the Department. This core priority includes prosecution of business enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana. Accordingly, while the Department does not focus its limited resources on seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment regimen in compliance with state law was stated in the October 2009 Ogden Memorandum, we will enforce the CSA vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law.

melinda haag.jpg
Melinda Haag.
The Cannabis Therapy Institute's Laura Kriho interpreted Haag's missive as a clarification of the aforementioned Ogden memo, which advised U.S. Attorneys not to focus on MMJ patients or businesses that were following the law in states that had legalized cannabis for medical use. As such, she anticipated a federal crackdown. Jeff Dorschner, speaking for Walsh, suggested otherwise, noting that his boss wasn't bound by the Haag letter and would continue to look at possible marijuana prosecutions (like a prior one involving Highlands Ranch grower Chris Bartkowicz) on a case-by-case basis.

Then, in January 2012, Walsh sent letters to 23 dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, informing them that they faced asset forfeiture if they didn't close or move within 45 days. One letter in that batch was withdrawn because children didn't attend classes at the building the MMC in question was near, but the other 22 centers followed orders -- as did an additional 25 dispensaries that received letters in the months that followed. According to Walsh, this action didn't contradict the Ogden memo, or a subsequent one by Deputy Attorney James M. Cole that distinguished between caregivers and dispensaries, because it was aimed at protecting young people from drugs -- a longtime priority of the Justice Department.

That's been Haag's mantra, too -- until this month, when she filed forfeiture complaints against Harborside Health Center, a mammoth operation that claims 108,000 patients -- more than the number of Coloradans with red cards according to the most recent Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment report. (Latest CDPHE total: 96,709.)

Haag's rationate? Harborside's size.

Page down to continue reading about the federal crackdown on Calfornia superstores.


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17 comments
bobby
bobby

Can she add churches to the list too. I hate the fact there is a church so close to my childrens school. I would much rather them find pot than to be raped or mind washed by those crazy church people. Those people are straight crazies.

Wayne Szabo
Wayne Szabo

what plants are drugs. and what constitute a drug in human political financial system.  is a drug open to opinion or speculation created by systems with hidden agendas or do we not have or will ever have clear indication. there are hundreds of plants that are me lethal than cannabis but there not lab bled a drug in fact. Americans who got Afghanistan and Iraq to grow poppies for pharmaceuticals but then turn round and say its a illegal deserved everything it got that's what happens when you take the pi** out of a nation and try and make it look stupid. but isn't if funny america that all pharmaceuticals company world wide are all propped up by the banking investment system that is created by controlled and manipulation of thoughts. 

Guest
Guest

After reading your posts and all others it is clear your personal motives and likely experience with cannabis. You got stoned years ago and weak  minded individual you are went where  your warped mind couldn't handle. Alcohol, cannabis. make your choice the stimulant, in some amplify the subconscious  thoughts and intentions of the individual using it. Did it make you paranoid Donkey? Make you suicidal?  Posting your own fears based on personal experience not logic or reality . For the majority of us our sub conscience minds are as stable as our conscience state. . I would bet your a bad drunk. We have all had the displeasure dealing in life with your type. I can only thank God in heaven you have the sense to prohibit the use of any stimulant making you worse than your conscience state of anger and unhappiness. Donkey how fitting a name for for a true jackass. I am a diabetic and pay close attention to my diet. It would be insane if I went on a crusade to force everyone to follow my diet. Get a life jackass.    

Ryan Cordova
Ryan Cordova

Since when did 500 feet become 1,000? Also that only applies to new or moving liquor store locations, there are still hundreds of liquor stores open in violation of that law which were successfully grandfathered in under the law. Finally, way to ignore the three other examples, champ.

Rick Rosio
Rick Rosio

so much fear and loathing being generated by thease tactics. Time and time we are told to work within the law and be good citizens and when we do, we become targets of the supporters of that old racist law from 1937. To those that support prohibition please watch the dying pleading for safe access to medical cannabis and then weep for the pain and suffering you are needlessly creating    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4el6EGqcUw&

Monkey
Monkey

"keep fighting"??? Is that what you call closing your doors when you receive a letter in the mail? Let me know when you pussy bitches start fighting, I might gain some respect for you.

Guest
Guest

Spoken like a real pussy!!! Run??? Only little bitches run... I say fight and make it happen. Don't worry we will keep fighting for everyone when little bitches like you are running for the hills.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

It's GRADE SCHOOL grammar. For an ADULT who was born and raised with English as their primary language to not properly recognize the difference is, ipso facto, moronic. Perhaps that's why the promoters of A64 have decided to deny access to everyone up to 21 years old. Stoners celebrate and wallow in their pathetic ignorance. Which is why, part and parcel, marijuana still remains illegal after all these years. HipTip: You don't rehabilitate ignorance by apologizing for it.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"... you should use it to fight against immigration ..." -- all immigration?!? What a hypocritical, ahistorical, and un-American stance to take!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Failing to distinguish "too" from "to" is a mistake, but hardly moronic.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Yet, nearly 100 have been closed by the Feds ... and more will be soon when they add Public Parks and Daycare centers to the 1000ft exclusion zone.

guest
guest

That's a terrible picture of the Haag but then possibly as good as it gets !

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