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Third Wave of Warning Letters Results in Closure of All 10 Targeted Marijuana Dispensaries Within 1,000 Feet of a School

SEP 25 (DENVER) – On August 3, 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado sent warning letters to 10 marijuana dispensaries operating within 1,000 feet of schools warning them that if they did not close within 45 days they would be subject to federal enforcement action. This was the third set of warning letters sent to marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools. The deadline for the 10 marijuana dispensaries to close was Monday, September 17, 2012. The U.S. Attorney Office’s partner in this initiative, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has now checked each facility and has confirmed that all 10 locations have closed.

Federal criminal law specifically provides enhanced criminal penalties for those selling drugs within 1,000 feet of schools (see 21 U.S.C. Section 860(a)).

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA will continue this initiative until all marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools are closed. A fourth wave of warning letters will be forthcoming as marijuana dispensaries are identified within this 1,000 foot “drug-free school zone.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office believes that a vast majority of marijuana dispensaries operating within 1,000 feet of schools have now closed, even those that did not specifically receive a warning letter. If members of the public have information regarding a marijuana dispensary they believe is within 1,000 feet of a school in their neighborhood or elsewhere they are encouraged to send an email to usaco.jwalsh@usdoj.gov.

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