Weekly Wrapup: Government Shows it’s Serious About Cracking Down on Medical Cannabis, Pot Shops

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If you think the federal government is playing a game of chicken with the medical marijuana community, you are sorely mistaken.

It became abundantly clear last week that the Obama administration is serious about cracking down on the cannabis industry. Rather than try to simply scare individuals away from the medical marijuana industry by making an example of some pot businesses, the government is actually following through with its threats to shut down dispensaries and growing operations.

In San Diego, for instance, federal agents raided four dispensaries last week, following up on similar actions it took there and throughout California in 2011. One official said the goal is to shut down every medical pot dispensary in San Diego County.

At the same time, the feds are widening the crackdown to other states, most notably Colorado, where nearly two dozen dispensaries have been told to close or relocate because they’re too close to schools. The threats have set off panic alarms in a state many observers thought was more or less immune to a crackdown given its tough restrictions on the industry.

It’s unclear how everything will play out going forward, and  it’s difficult to determine what the government is trying to do. But you can be sure that we’ll hear about more raids and government threats in 2012.

Luckily, the situation is looking brighter in Arizona. The state’s governor has experienced yet another setback in her attempts to quash the medical cannabis industry, which seems like a weekly occurrence at this point. Last week, a judge essentially told her to implement the state’s medical pot laws as soon as possible, saying that her moves to delay the licensing of dispensaries is illegal. She has 30 days to appeal the decision, but at this point her efforts to block the start of medical marijuana centers seem futile.

Other top stories from last week:
Colorado crackdown big focus of meeting
MMJ university teaches students how to grow pot
Why the MMJ industry should care about employment rights