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Federal government cracks down on California pot dispensaries

October 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There has been a major U.S. government crackdown on medical marijuana outlets in California. The announcement is expected on Friday.

Attorneys from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento are working together. They have already sent cease-and-desist letters to certain medical marijuana dispensaries.

California state law says medical marijuana is legal to smoke if a doctor prescribes it. But federal law says marijuana is illegal. This is raising the issue about state's rights.

Eyewitness News has learned that at least 16 medical marijuana dispensaries have received letters from federal prosecutors ordering them to shut down operation in the next 45 days.

The letter to one of the building's landlord said: "There is a marijuana dispensary operating within a prohibited distance of a playground. It may result in criminal prosecution, imprisonment, fines, and forfeiture of assets."

"We'll find another landlord susceptible to it," said dispensary operator Jonathan Daley. "You know it's unfortunate that it's a fight we have to continue with. California has backed it. "

In Hollywood, Chris Mcculla is angry that the Sunset Herbal Corner is within 1,000 feet of a pre-school.

"Right up here where there's a pre-school where children come in seven days a week or five days a week," said McCulla. "This is way too close."

No one inside the clinic wanted to discuss the issue on camera, but an attorney for pot club owners tells us that this is similar to the DEA raids on dispensaries from several years ago.

"They're not kicking in doors and taking people to jail, but they're creating a climate that's making it nearly impossible for medical cannabis collectives to survive," said attorney Brendan Hallinan.

An undercover narcotics detective form the L.A. County Sherriff's Department said that the department is supportive of what the federal government is trying to do.

When the Obama Administration came into office, Attorney General Eric Holder said that he was going to stop raids. But now there is increased regulation once again.


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