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U.S. Takes Aim at California’s $1 Billion Marijuana Dispensaries

Federal prosecutors say they’re using property seizures and criminal charges to crack down on California’s commercial medical-marijuana dispensaries, threatening a billion-dollar industry.

The top U.S. prosecutors in California said they’re responding to “explosive” growth in the state’s marijuana trade, which feeds national distribution by people with criminal backgrounds. The industry corrupted the intent of a 1996 referendum that made California the first state to permit marijuana use for medical purposes, the U.S. Attorneys in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco said yesterday.