Feds Ramp Up Crackdowns On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

In several West Coast cities, federal officials are initiating a new round of crackdowns against dispensaries that are seemingly complying with state medical marijuana law. In Seattle, 11 dispensaries received shutdown warnings. In San Francisco, almost half of the city’s small number of state-licensed dispensaries received similar warnings. And in neighboring cities like San Jose, several others were warned.

The cease-and-desist letters from the Drug Enforcement Administration warn harsh federal punishment, including as much as 40 years in jail even for landlords that rent to marijuana dispensaries. They also warn that they if properties do not cease marijuana activity within 30 days, the agency will pursue what’s known as civil forfeiture, in which the federal government threatens to seize the facility and other assets if the marijuana business continues. For those who are renting space, this means the landlord is effectively asked to evict its marijuana tenant — a process that has proved difficult, as state and federal courts handling eviction proceedings resist this federal intervention.

This is not the first round of crackdowns in any of these cities, which have forced shutdowns of dispensaries considered “models” in their community, or festered in prolonged legal battles. But these crackdowns are particularly symbolic, because they come en masse, in the wake of ballot initiatives in November to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in two states, and because they are being executed post-sequester, even as prominent law enforcement officials like Attorney General Eric Holder have warned that the blunt cuts threaten public safety. Polls since the November ballot initiatives found that a majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization, and that an even greater percentage think the states should decide whether marijuana is legal.

– Read the entire article at Think Progress.



  1. 2buds on

    This is why I will always grow my own – even if it’s just across the neighbors lot line 😉

  2. Mrs. RatsRectum on

    I agree with the U.K. poster that these agencies are fighting for their budgetary lives. They’re raiding to give the impression that there is a serious problem they are solving in order to justify their existence, their jobs, their budgets. However, all they’re really doing is pissing off most people while trying to keep their masters in the District of Columbia content.

    It seems like it takes them a long time to gather information and send out the warnings and documents. We’ll have to put together a network of landlords and other non-cannabis businesses to move stuff out of the cannabis properties and move in non-cannabis businesses on a week’s notice to juggle things. Then the feds have to start all over again with new locations. It’s sad for the patients who would like stability, but the switcheroo juggling of locations allows their medicine outlets to evade the feds. Pain in the ass, I know. Until Obama grows a pair of balls or the economy takes a turn for the worse, it’s business as usual in D.C. See the stock market is having a slow recovery so the prohibitionists are of the mindset that they still have money to waste on enforcing this lost cause.

    Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized. The stock market has got to take a dive–unfortunately–because even the sequestration cuts have passed cannabis prohibition by. Tisk, tisk. I told you to use the sequestration cuts to de-fund the federal cannabis laws in states that have MMJ or recreational laws on the books.

    It’s too bad you didn’t heed the call for change.

  3. Anonymous UK on

    The federal agencies are fighting to survive. The more fuss they make the more it seems like a problem. They must know that their funding is in jeopardy and want to make a case for their existence – did anyone think they would go quietly ?

  4. gstlab3 on

    this is one big cash grab and property seizure scheme to fund more of the same police activities.

    they suck.

    control freaks every last one of them.