U.S. Attorney Says Targeting Pot Ads Not A Priority
Friday, October 14, 2011
Aired 10/17/11 on KPBS News.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy caused a stir when said federal authorities would start cracking down on newspapers that run ads for medical marijuana.
SAN DIEGO U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy caused a stir when said federal authorities would start cracking down on newspapers that run ads for medical marijuana. She says that it is not a priority.
Duffy said her comments about cracking down on medical marijuana advertisements along with dispensaries have taken on a life of their own. She said the main priority for the U.S. Attorney’s office is shutting down dispensaries it believes have become commercial enterprises.
Still, Duffy said the federal government is keeping an eye on the ads.
“While advertisers, those folks placing ads and running ads, are not the primary focus of our current enforcement activities,” she said, “we are concerned about the nature and the extent of the advertisements we are seeing.”
She said if the government’s current actions aren’t effective, it might pay more attention to advertisements.
The timing of the federal government's actions has raised questions.
Recently San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith sent letters to 12 dispensaries telling them to shut down because they were too close to schools, a violation of state law. Duffy said the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in California has been coming for a while, but she said it was appropriate for her office to send similar letters to the same San Diego dispensaries.
“While I’m not working hand in hand with the City Attorney’s Office and Jan Goldsmith specifically on those 12 dispensaries,” she said, “I’m quite aware that those 12 were identified as problematic.”
Duffy says other dispensaries believed to be operating as commercial enterprises will also be targeted for shutdown.