Feds announce Calif. pot dispensary crackdown

11:29 AM, Oct 7, 2011   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors in California are ordering dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries to shut down in 45 days and warning their owners and landlords they face criminal charges or seizure of their assets if they do not comply.

The state's four U.S. attorneys announced at a Sacramento news conference Friday they have stepped up efforts to curtail both marijuana cultivation and retail sales of pot conducted under the cover of California's 15-year-old medical marijuana law.

NEWS RELEASE: Actions already taken by federal prosecutors

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner, who represents California's Central Valley, said not all of the thousands of storefront pot dispensaries thought to be operating in the state are being targeted.

Instead, federal officials are initially going after pot shops located close to schools, parks, sports fields and other places where there are a lot of children and what Wagner termed "significant commercial operations." He said that includes farmland where marijuana is being grown.

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Thus far, fewer than 100 letters have been sent to dispensaries in the U.S. District Court's Eastern District jurisdiction, attorneys said. More warning letters could be sent. 

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The Associated Press

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