On Aug. 3, U.S. Attorney John Walsh of the U.S. Attorney's District of Colorado office issued letters to another 10 medical marijuana stores, notifying them that they are each within 1,000 feet of a school. Here are the details.
* In this third wave of the U.S. Attorney's state initiative to close all marijuana stores operating within 1,000 feet of schools, Walsh warned that store owners who did not discontinue the sale and/or distribution of marijuana within 45 days would face action taken to seize and forfeit their property.
* Walsh began his 2012 initiative on Jan. 12, with the issuance of 23 letters to marijuana stores, located in various cities and towns around the state.
* Though the voters of Colorado passed a limited medical marijuana amendment in 2000, allowing the possession, cultivation and sale of the drug for medicinal purposes, "they could not have anticipated that their vote would be used to justify large marijuana stores located within blocks of our schools," Walsh stated in January.
* According to Walsh, stores selling and/or distributing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school are eligible for enhanced penalties under federal law .
* Walsh stated in January that his actions were pursuent to and consistent with memos provided by the Department of Justice on the matter of marijuana trafficking near schools.
* On Feb. 28, Walsh reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration verified that all of the stores who had received letters in January had been closed by the given 45-day deadline, except one that was determined to not be located near an operating school. The letter for that particular store was withdrawn.
* In March, letters were issued to an additional 25 marijuana stores. By the May 7 deadline for those stores to close, the DEA confirmed that all had, in fact, closed, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported .
* Beginning in March, the U.S. Attorney's office began requesting the help of the public regarding information of marijuana stores within 1,000 feet of a school in their neighborhood or elsewhere.
* According to the Denver Post , in March of this year, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett sent a letter to Walsh, asking him to ease up on medical marijuana dispensaries that are abiding by state law. The D.A. stated that "the people of Boulder County do not need Washington, D.C., or the federal government dictating how far dispensaries should be from schools, or other fine points of local land-use law."
* Colorado law allows communities to vary the distance of the established 1,000 foot buffer between marijuana stores and schools, and to grandfather in pre-existing businesses, the Denver Post reported.
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