03/15/2012 01:59 pm ET Updated Mar 15, 2012

Boulder DA Stan Garnett Roasts Federal Crackdown On Medical Marijuana In Open Letter To U.S. Attorney John Walsh

After a late-February federal crackdown forced the closure of 22 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, shop owners have warily considered the possibility they're the next target. And while Westword has provided a handy 'Doomsday Map' to help predict shops facing the most danger, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett has gone one step further.

Garnett sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney John Walsh, seeking to persuade Walsh that Colorado's regulations on marijuana are sufficient and effective. As such, medical marijuana should not constitute a priority for law enforcement. In the letter, Garnett recommends law enforcement focus instead on "terrorism, serious economic crime, organized crime and serious drug dealing (involving significant amounts of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine)."

"I can see no legitimate basis in this judicial district to focus the resources of the United States government on the medical marijuana dispensaries that are otherwise compliant with Colorado law or local regulation," he continues. "The people of Boulder County do not need Washington D.C. or the federal government dictating how far dispensaries should be from schools, or other fine points of local land use law."


Boulder's current regulations require dispensaries be at least 500 feet from a school. The Daily Camera estimates 12 dispensaries currently violate the federal enforcement of a 1,000 foot school buffer, but none were targeted in the first wave of closures.

Walsh's spokesman told Westword his boss did not intend to respond to the letter publicly.

Federal reactions to Colorado's medical marijuana industry have drawn criticism from politicos in the state for their out of touch posture. Most recently, when Colorado's top DEA agent Barbra Roach arrived in the state, she received scathing remarks from Rep. Jared Polis for an interview she conducted with the Denver Post.

In the Denver Post interview, Roach asserted her belief that water and mold damage from growers presented an unchecked threat to our safety. Polis responded on twitter:



Stan Garnett Letter to US Attorney John Walsh