Eleven Seattle-area medical marijuana shops were told to shut down by the Drug Enforcement Administration for being within 1,000 feet of schools. The letters take a similar tactic to one federal agents used in 2011 and 2012 in Washington and other states.
"The DEA enforces federal drug laws and these letters have nothing to do with any pending legislation or state law," a DEA spokeswoman told the Seattle Times .
The letters order the shops to stop distributing marijuana within 30 days or the feds will do it for them. The DEA didn't identify any of the dispensaries that received letters, but KIRO TV in Seattle says that Herbal Healing in the Crown Hill neighborhood is among them.
An owner with the shop said that her business isn't near any schools and she isn't sure why she was singled out for a letter. She says the shop has been open for two years with no problems - until this week, when she received the letter. The owner said the shop will likely relocate. "It's pretty big hassle, but it's worth the fight," she said.
More than 70 such letters were sent to dispensaries last year in Colorado, and officials say all of the shops complied. Many simply moved to a new location and have continued without any further notices from the feds leading many to presume that state-legal dispensaries are being tolerated so long as they meet certain unwritten federal guidelines - and being away from kids is certainly one of them.