A marijuana plant. (Denver Post file photo)
- Sep 9:
- Long line, but no hassles for free pot giveaway at Civic Center
- Sep 3:
- More Colorado pot is flowing to neighboring states, officials say
- Aug 29:
- Federal government won't block Colorado marijuana legalization
- Aug 28:
- Federal agency orders armored-car service to stop serving legal marijuana sellers
- Aug 27:
- Colorado: Ingresar a sector de marihuana será caro
- Aug 26:
- Denver council defies mayor and chooses 3.5 percent tax on retail pot
- Jul 30:
- Denver DA's version of violent medical marijuana industry questioned
- Apr 25:
- Colorado appeals court OKs firing for off-duty marijuana use
- Apr 24:
- Denver's 4/20 permit questioned after organizers were given free use of Civic Center Park
- Apr 20:
- Two shot at Denver's Civic Center 4/20 pot rally
- Apr 19:
- Denver pot holiday bringing crowds, tight security
- Mar 5:
- Ex-DEA heads: Feds should nullify state pot laws
- Feb 28:
- Pot task force recommends special marijuana sales, excise taxes
- Feb 19:
- Colorado marijuana task force recommends allowing pot tourism
- Marijuana potency, tourism up for CO debate
- Feb 12:
- Marijuana legalization raises safety questions
- Feb 11:
- Denver City Council to vote in April whether to opt out on marijuana
- Feb 10:
- THC University in Denver holds first class on how to grow pot
- Studies shed more light on debate around marijuana-impaired driving
- Feb 5:
- Colorado marijuana task force says employers can fire for pot use
- Jan 19:
- Future of Washington, Colorado pot farming still uncertain
- Jan 11:
- Legalización de marihuana crearía oportunidades, problemas para empresarios locales
- Jan 3:
- Do alcohol and marijuana mix? Colorado is about to find out
- Jan 1:
- Clubes para fumar marihuana abren en Colorado
- Dec 31:
- Pot social clubs ring in the New Year with spots to consume weed
- Dec 29:
- Parts of Colorado's pot legalization strategy exported to other states
- Dec 26:
- Authorities seize 10 pounds of marijuana
- Dec 20:
- Will cigarette makers jump into pot market?
- Dec 16:
- Piden definir política de EEUU sobre marihuana
- Dec 13:
- Second CU-Boulder student charged with 18 felonies in pot brownie case
- Dec 11:
- Colorado heading toward a too-stoned-to-drive standard, experts say
- Dec 10:
- Pot legalized in Colorado with governor's proclamation
- Ya es legal el consumo de marihuana en Colorado
- Con marihuana legalizada en Washington ¿Qué sigue?
- Police: CU students confessed to serving pot-laced brownies in class
- Dec 7:
- Legal pot complicates drug-free work policies
- Dec 5:
- Celebrarán legalización de marihuana en Washington
- Nov 30:
- Douglas County set to block marijuana cultivation, sale
- Nov 28:
- Pot legalization no free ride to smoke on campus
- Nov 27:
- Hickenlooper to convene marijuana task force
- Nov 26:
- Aurora forgoes prosecuting small scale pot possession
- Colorado appeals court case debates question of off-duty marijuana use
- Nov 16:
- DeGette files bill to require feds to respect marijuana law
- Nov 14:
- Boulder DA dismissing small-scale marijuana possession cases in light of Amendment 64
- Nov 13:
- Calderón: Marihuana legal resta autoridad a EEUU
- Nov 12:
- Latin American leaders call for review of U.S. legal pot vote
- Nov 10:
- Hickenlooper, Holder discuss Colorado marijuana legalization
- Nov 8:
- Late-night shows, actors take pot shots at Colorado marijuana law
- Nov 7:
- Colorado officials seek clarity after passage of marijuana measure
- México prevé cambios tras voto marihuana en EEUU
- Pot votes in 2 states challenge U.S. drug war
- Hickenlooper reaching out to feds on Colorado marijuana legalization
- Colorado attorney general Suthers says he will respect marijuana measure
- Colorado voters support Obama, recreational pot
- Nov 6:
- Colorado measure legalizing marijuana passes
- Sep 15:
- Colorado marijuana legalization initiative leads in new poll
- Sep 13:
- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper opposes marijuana-legalization measure
- Sep 11:
- Study finds perilous mold in Colorado pot-growing operations
- Aug 2:
- Colorado's medical pot industry fuels illegal trade, review shows
- Jul 3:
- Supreme Court ruling stokes Colorado pot debate
- Jun 19:
- Legal pot shops do not boost teen drug use, Colorado study says
- Jun 18:
- Easing of pot laws poses challenge for parents
- Jun 5:
- Colorado vote on pot could affect Obama-Romney race
- Debate sobre marihuana anima elección presidencial en Colorado
- May 15:
- Marijuana DUI standard dies a third time in Colorado
- Marijuana driving limits again poised for Colorado
- May 1:
- Colorado Senate gives initial OK to stoned driving limits
- Apr 20:
- Marijuana rally in trouble at Colorado university
- 4/20 events, and arrests, in full swing in Denver and Boulder
- CU tries to deter pot smokers with fish fertilizer, business-suit wearing counter protesters "stay classy" on campus
- Apr 19:
- Boulder's contentious "smokeout" expected to draw throngs
- Activists sue University of Colorado over 4/20 campus closure
- Apr 18:
- Eight Colorado counties plan events as alternatives to 4-20 marijuana smoke-ins
- Apr 16:
- ACLU: CU-Boulder's 4/20 campus closure thwarts 'right to dissent'
- Apr 13:
- CU-Boulder to close campus to visitors on 4/20, ticket trespassers
- Apr 4:
- Capital gets garden store for medical pot growers
- Tienda para siembra de marihuana medicinal abre en Washington
- Apr 3:
- Pot regulators slashed in Colorado
- Mar 21:
- U.S. Attorney says marijuana shop closures cheered by Coloradans
- Mar 15:
- Five arrested for dumping garbage bag of pot in Civic Center and passing it out, police say
- Mar 14:
- Boulder DA asks feds to back off on medical marijuana dispensaries
- Mar 7:
- Denver's new DEA chief plans to live in a city where dispensaries are banned
- Mar 6:
- Yoga habit earns Aspen man a break on pot sentence
- Mar 2:
- Municipio español cultivará marihuana para combatir la crisis
- Feb 28:
- All targeted Colorado marijuana dispensaries near schools shut down, Feds say
- Colorado post offices see increase in marijuana packages
- Feb 27:
- "Driving while stoned" bill setting pot limits advances
- Feb 14:
- Fort Collins marijuana dispensaries shutting down
- Feb 7:
- Court of Appeals nixes medical pot use while on probation
- Jan 25:
- 16 charged in Denver metro-area pot bust
- Jan 18:
- Colorado voters might see two pot proposals on ballot
- Jan 12:
- Feds: Colorado medical-marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school must close
- Jan 11:
- Lawmakers vow bill to allow medical-pot co-ops as banks shut out industry
- Jan 4:
- Campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado turns in signatures in attempt to make the 2012 ballot
- Dec 28:
- Colorado seeks new pot classification
- Dec 16:
- California marijuana dispensary creates buzz with free pot
- Nov 30:
- Report shows fewer traffic fatalities after states pass medical-pot laws
- Oct 11:
- Colorado Supreme Court could take on medical-marijuana appeal
- Oct 7:
- Feds announce Calif. pot dispensary crackdown
- Crackdown on California dispensaries planned; Colorado shops watch development closely
- Oct 6:
- Feds target California pot dispensaries
- Sep 4:
- Driving while stoned difficult to define, regulate in Colorado
- Jul 22:
- Coloradans' use of drugs, alcohol much higher than U.S. average
- Colorado encabeza la lista de estados con mayor consumo de marihuana
The Colorado U.S. Attorney sent letters to the owners of 25 medical-marijuana dispensaries — all located within 1,000 feet of a school — notifying them that they have 45 days to close or potentially face criminal prosecution.
The letters were sent by Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh to the owners of 25 dispensaries, located across the state, including Boulder.
The letters come a little over a week after Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett asked Walsh to drop the crackdown on dispensaries that are abiding by state law.
Walsh's spokesman, Jeff Dorschner, said the dispensaries in Boulder that are being sent the letters were on the list to receive them before Walsh received Garnett's request.
Dorschner declined to say how many dispensaries in Boulder will receive letters.
The are about a dozen medical pot dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of schools in Boulder, including the University of Colorado.
Garnett said he is not surprised the letters went out.
"A lot of people called me since his letter was released and found his letter to be, shall we say, condescending," Garnett said. "As if somehow the federal government needs to come in to protect our children. Boulder County cares an enormous amount about our kids and controlling medical marijuana to protect them."
Garnett says he understands the need to keep marijuana away from children.
"A lot of people who talked to me pointed out we all want to keep marijuana away from kids. That's not the issue. What they don't see is the causal connection between schools and a dispensary being 800, 600 or 500 feet away," he said. " It's an arbitrary distinction, and it seems like window dressing. It appears they are addressing a problem, but they don't have a causal effect."
If the stores do not stop selling and or distributing marijuana within 45 days, they could face criminal prosecution or asset forfeiture.
Colorado law specifies that dispensaries must be at least 1,000 feet from schools, but also allows local governments to decrease that distance. Violating the 1,000-foot buffer is grounds for enhanced penalties under federal law.
"I think it is absolutely offensive that John Walsh is usurping and interfering with the power of the state on this issue," said Lauren Davis, a medical marijuana attorney in Denver. "These towns spent a lot of time considering these issues and writing the legislation they believe was reasonable and looking out for the safety of their community."
Dorschner said Walsh's intention is to protect young people.
"This is an initiative to protect children from a Schedule 1 narcotic," he said. "The U.S. attorney has heard from doctors, school administrators and parents thanking him for his efforts to protect children from marijuana."
The letters are the second round of action by federal authorities against businesses, which are legal under state law but are illegal under federal laws.
In January, letters were sent to the owners of 23 dispensaries near schools, telling the to move or close.
Dorschner said Friday's round of letters won't be the last.
Davis said the last round of letters scared some dispensary employees who decided to quit their jobs instead of face prosecution.
One of her clients shut down and another who was planning on moving anyway, went forward with their plans. This time, Davis doesn't think the medical marijuana industry will be as compliant.
"The medical marijuana attorneys, we discussed and came up with a game plan and did not take action the first time because people were scared to not move or shut down," she said, "but I can venture a guess that people are not going to sit as quietly."
Davis believes Walsh isn't being honest about closing down dispensaries for the sake of children.
"The feds have much better things to do with their resources," Davis said. "Taxpayers should be up in arms that the feds are using their power to override what Colorado citizens have said."
Felisa Cardona: email@example.com, 303-954-1219 or twitter.com/felisacardona
Mitchell Byars from the Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Post staff writer Jordan Steffen contributed to this story