Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries are facing a challenge from federal authorities to shut down or face criminal charges, despite state laws that allow the outlets. The U.S. stand is that these dispensaries present a danger to school children, even though Colorado has its own regulations that apply to medical cannabis.
The sellers must decide if the fight is worth the potential penalties that could arise from a federal crackdown on their businesses. The letters from John Walsh, a Colorado U.S. attorney, informed sellers they must close their medical marijuana dispensaries by Feb. 27. This effort by the feds may be subject to further litigation if an initiative by advocates to legalize pot use by adults over age 21 gets on the November ballot in Colorado.
This conflict between state and federal laws could end up in the Supreme Court under challenges to states' rights under the U.S. Constitution. With such laws in flux, persons who may be suspected for questionable use of marijuana should consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about changing state drug laws. This is true for persons in Colorado as well as many other states where sale of medical marijuana is allowed.
The state of marijuana laws in Colorado is complex and changing. If you are having any problems with running your marijuana dispensary or have questions about current drug laws, consult an attorney now to assure that you are not in violation of federal or state laws. When federal and state laws collide, the repercussions can be widespread and difficult to unravel.
Los Angeles Times: "Colorado medical marijuana shops in federal crosshairs," Jan. 28, 2012