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Federal agencies raided several Denver-area marijuana shops and grow farms Thursday morning, despite the Justice Department’s nod to respect Colorado’s rights to regulate marijuana, according to the Huffington Post.
“The Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Denver Police Department and state and local law enforcement are today executing lawfully obtained search warrants and seizure warrants,” Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, told the paper.
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Westword reports that the raids are ongoing and will likely continue throughout the day. They involve a “notable number of targets.”
Details about which businesses are being investigated and for what issues have not been revealed at the time of publication.
“We do not yet know the details of these latest federal actions, so it is too soon to say what inspired them,” Mason Tvert, communications director for Marijuana Policy Project, told The Huffington Post. “The Justice Department said it would respect states’ rights to regulate marijuana, and that it would not go after businesses as long as they are complying with state laws. We hope they are sticking to their word and not interfering with any state-regulated, law-abiding businesses.”
Tvert added that he’s commenting based on limited information about the raids and points out that it’s not clear that these business actually violated any laws.
“Colorado has demonstrated that regulating marijuana works,” Tvert said. “Those businesses that are in clear compliance with state laws are meeting the needs of the community and not causing problems. As a result, they have not faced much in the way of federal interference. If a business is suspected of violating state laws, they will likely face increased scrutiny, and if they are found to be in violation, they will likely face consequences. That is how our society treats alcohol, and that is how we expect to see marijuana treated.”
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