The U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Colorado announced on Tuesday that all 10 of the marijuana stores targeted in its drug-free school zone initiative are now closed. Here are the details.
* In Colorado, medical marijuana dispensaries are legal. However, federal law prohibits the sale of drugs within 1,000 feet of schools.
* The U.S. Attorney's Office sent letters to 10 Colorado marijuana stores operating within 1,000 feet of schools on Aug. 3. The letter gave the owners of these stores 45 days to close or else face federal enforcement action.
* This was the third wave of letters sent to marijuana dispensaries in Colorado as part of the initiative from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency. The U.S. Attorney's Office stated that a fourth wave will be forthcoming and that initiative will continue until all marijuana stores operating within a drug-free school zone are closed.
* The first wave of letters went out to 23 marijuana stores on Jan. 12.
* At the time of the first wave of letters, U.S. Attorney John Walsh stated, "When the voters of Colorado passed the limited medical marijuana amendment in 2000, they could not have anticipated that their vote would be used to justify large marijuana stores located within blocks of our schools."
* Walsh also stated that since the opening of marijuana dispensaries in 2010, Colorado school districts have seen a dramatic increase in student abuse of marijuana.
* On Feb. 28, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced the closure of 22 marijuana stores. One store originally targeted was determined to be located near a school building that was no longer being used to educate children. That letter was withdrawn.
* According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there were 99,960 medical marijuana patients in Colorado as of June 30. Forty-seven of those patients are minors under the age of 18, and the average age of all patients is 42. Ninety-four percent of the medical marijuana patients in Colorado report severe pain at the condition for which they use marijuana.
* According to John Ingold of the Denver Post there were 736 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado and 291 marijuana-infused product makers (MIPs), as of September 2011. Those numbers include 400 dispensaries and MIPs in the city of Denver and another 208 in Colorado Springs.