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Medical marijuana: CBS4 hints fed crackdown on MMCs near schools is coming -- but is it?

According to this report, CBS4 has information that points to a potential federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations within 1,000 feet of schools.

But it's unclear when any federal action would happen, or what it might look like if it does.

In the report on view below, correspondent Rick Sallinger says "dispensaries that receive the letters will be given 45 days to shut down or move operations. If they don't comply, they will be shut down by the U.S. attorney in Colorado." The report says the dispensaries are targeted because the 1,000 feet rule is a big factor in federal drug case sentencing, greatly increasing the charges.

Investigative reporter Sallinger doesn't disclose the source his information. But no letters have been sent to any dispensaries as of noon today, and the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Colorado said he did not have any information on the matter. Moreover, there's nothing on the office's website about the memos or possible federal action.

State law forbids dispensaries from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, treatment centers, universities, seminaries and daycare facilities. But there are several shops that were grandfathered in.

In addition, Colorado law does not prohibit grow facilities from being within 1,000 feet of these facilities. Since they are often hidden in plain sight, it's hard to tell just how many are in this range.

Similar federal tactics have been used in California over the past few months, with letters being sent to centers in the Los Angeles area. But we haven't seen these tactics here to date. If they happened, the move would be unprecedented.

Earlier this year, Highland's Ranch caregiver Chris Bartkowicz was sentenced to five years in prison and eight years of probation on cultivation charges for being within 1,000 feet of a school. But no dispensaries in Colorado have faced such charges yet.

Though our heads may sometimes be in the clouds at Mile Highs and Lows, we'll keep our ears to the ground to see if this story turns out to be a real harbinger or a California problem that stays out of Colorado. In the meantime, check out the original CBS4 story:

More form our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana edible review: Phat Daddyz has some potent balls" and "Med. marijuana patients must wait 6 months to reapply if applications found to be 'fraudulent.'"


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