So much for asking L.A. voters whether to keep the shops open. Authorities have sent warnings letters to operators in 68 stores - many located downtown and in Eagle Rock - that effectively tell them to shut down. In addition, three shops received asset forfeiture lawsuits and another three were raided. There was a time when Attorney General Eric Holder said that prosecutors would not target medical marijuana users and caregivers as long as they followed state laws. In California, however, there really aren't any state laws and the local statutes are all over the place. The L.A. City Council voted to ban pot shops, but opponents of the ban gathered enough signatures to put the matter on the ballot. In the meantime, the ban is supposedly not in effect. From the LAT:
"Over the past several years, we have seen an explosion of commercial marijuana stores -- an explosion that is being driven by the massive profits associated with marijuana distribution," said U.S. Atty. André Birotte Jr. in a statement. "As today's operations make clear, the sale and distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and we intend to enforce the law. Even those stores not targeted today should understand that they cannot continue to profit in violation of the law."