APNewsBreak: Feds target CA pot dispensaries

October 6, 2011 - 3:55 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal officials are warning California medical marijuana dispensaries they must shut down within 45 days or face criminal prosecution and having their property confiscated.

The state's four U.S. attorneys sent letters Wednesday and Thursday notifying at least 16 pot shops or their landlords that they are violating federal drug laws, even though medical marijuana is legal in California. The attorneys are to announce their coordinated crackdown at a Friday news conference.

The move marks an escalation of the conflict between the government and the medical marijuana industry.

The Associated Press obtained copies of the letters that a prosecutor sent to 12 of San Diego's dispensaries. They state that federal law "takes precedence over state law and applies regardless of the particular uses for which a dispensary is selling pot.