New York Times:  “U.S. Attorneys in California Set Crackdown on Marijuana – Federal officials on Friday warned dozens of marijuana dispensaries throughout California to shut down or face civil and criminal action as part of a major crackdown on the state’s growing medical marijuana industry. The four United States attorneys in California said that they would move against landlords who rent space to the storefront operators of medical marijuana dispensaries, whom prosecutors suspect of using the law to cover large-scale for-profit drug sales. . .. But federal prosecutors said that in California, many people had simply used the law as a cover for large-scale drug operations, with tens of millions of dollars’ worth of marijuana being sent across state lines from here. Officials said they would also concentrate on properties used to grow marijuana, particularly in the agriculturally rich central part of the state.”

Watch a video clip of the U.S. Attorneys’ news conference on October 7, 2011.

Los Angeles Times:  “California’s U.S. attorneys say they are going after for-profit marijuana sellers. The Obama administration’s crackdown on California’s highly profitable medical marijuana industry represents a dramatic departure from the low-key approach it has long pursued.  California’s four U.S. attorneys said Friday that they are taking aim at large-scale growers and dispensary owners who are raking in millions of dollars while falsely claiming that their medical marijuana operations comply with state law, which does not allow for-profit sales.”

“. . . The step comes as the Obama administration has been steadily ratcheting up enforcement efforts. Last month, a federal firearms official sent a letter to gun dealers warning them against selling to medical marijuana users. The last bank in Colorado willing to handle money from dispensaries closed those accounts last week, concerned about federal prosecution. And the Internal Revenue Service has begun to order some dispensaries to pay millions of dollars in back taxes and penalties, ruling that they can’t deduct expenses because their business is illegal.”