Medical Marijuana Stores Near Colorado Schools Heed Feds and Close
According to news reports, it appeared on Monday that none of Colorado’s medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools would be fighting the federal government letter demanding that they close by Monday. U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent letters to 23 such dispensaries 45 days previously, saying they had to shut down by Monday, February 26, or risk having their assets seized. Mike Elliot of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group (MMIG) told blogs.westword.com’s Michael Roberts that he hadn’t heard anyone say they would stay open past the deadline. “I haven’t spoken to everybody,” he acknowledges, “but I think I’ve been part of the circle of people who would know.” He added that he knows of some shops that are moving.
Maria St. Louis-Sanchez reports for gazette.com that a Colorado Springs dispensary called The Indispensary, which is 910 feet away from Palmer High School, had emptied its shop of such items as marijuana-infused brownies, lemon bars, and salsa, among other products.
St. Louis-Sanchez spoke with Judy Negley, one of four owners of the shop, and writes:
She said the store was able to transfer some of the cannabis over to the other two dispensaries owned by the business. But, like many stores going out of business, the Indispensary liquidated most of its stock in a huge sale where the marijuana was discounted by about 50 percent.
‘Too bad there’s a law that says I can’t sell below cost,’ Negley said. ‘Or I would have given it away to the patients who really needed it.
She said the box from the back room was headed for the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, where state law dictates it be destroyed.
As Roberts writes, the 23 dispensaries that received the letters had previously been considered legal under Colorado law, because they had existed before passage of local ordinances. “It’s important that we protect schools and teenagers from marijuana,” MMIG’s Elliot said. “But we haven’t really seen any credible evidence that these businesses have been causing increases in teenage use.”
News reports say that the federal law, which does not allow the sale of any type of marijuana, medical or otherwise, takes precedence over state laws. It was in the year 2000 that Colorado legalized the sale of medical marijuana.
According to Huff Post Denver:
The Colorado crackdown does seem oddly timed. It arrives just months after the state’s Department of Revenue seeking reclassification of marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug as to allow doctors to prescribe it as medical treatment.
There’s also the December 2011 poll released by Public Policy Polling showing that a large group of Coloradans believe that marijuana should not just be legal medically, but fully legalized. […]
While the feds crackdown on medical marijuana shops, the Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a collective of marijuana activist groups and individuals including SAFER, Sensible Colorado, NORML and others is pushing for full legalization for adults. After a second round of signature gathering, the group believes it has gathered the required signatures for an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Colorado to appear on the 2012 state ballot.
Here is a video about The Indispensary: