Last week The Daily Weekly covered the DEA's decision to send letters to 23 area medical marijuana dispensaries determined to be located too close to schools and places children congregate. The letters instructed the dispensaries to shut down within 30 days, warning that the operators and/or people who own the property where the dispensaries are located are subject to federal prosecutions and seizure and forfeiture of property and profits.
As the post notes:
On Thursday the DEA says it sent letters to 23 (yet to be fully revealed) area medical marijuana dispensaries determined to be located within "1,000 feet of a school, playground or other prohibited area" - ordering them to shut down or face the seizure and forfeiture of assets and profits, along with criminal prosecution. Today many medical marijuana activist (and just plain marijuana activists), including non-profit political organization Sensible Washington, condemned the action.
"Essentially we feel this is yet another example of the federal government growing desperate at the building momentum throughout the nation for reforming our failed cannabis policies," says Sensible Washington Communications Director Anthony Martinelli. "We feel that these letters have absolutely nothing to do with improving public safety or protecting our children, but rather are a desperate ploy to try to combat policies that our state's voters have so passionately voted for and defended."
These comments, of course, come in response to yesterday's declarations from officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office and DEA saying medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives pose a threat when located too close to places where children are present. U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Jenny Durkan noted that the letters - in addition to warning medical marijuana dispensary operators and property owners of the potential federal repercussions of their actions - were about sending a message to kids.
As has become customary with The Daily Weekly's pot-related posts, commenters felt inspired to chime in after learning of the DEA's actions and Sensible Washington's take on the situation.
As commenter Beyond notes:
Wait a minute... in the eyes of Federal law, selling cannabis is illegal ANYWHERE. So why the attention on school zone buffers? Locations would have been screened and processed through the a city's business license application.
Play along with this for a second... selling cannabis is illegal, murder is illegal, so perhaps the following is appropriate:
"We all work hard to create a safe zone for kids in school. There is a reason that both federal and state laws prohibit murder in school zones," said Durkan in a statement widely distributed to the local media yesterday. "We need to enforce one message for our students: murder has no place in or near our schools."