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Drugs and Real Estate: DEA's Intervention

The LA Times reports today that the DEA (aka "The Man") is going after landlords who rent storefronts to medical marijuana dispensaries. The Drug Enforcement Agency sent out letters to the landlords warning them there could be repercussions for the use of their property to sell illegal drugs (under Federal law).

Sarah Pullen, a DEA spokeswoman in Los Angeles, said the purpose of the letters was to "educate" property owners at risk because they were housing marijuana dispensaries. "By renting their property to individuals violating fed drug laws, they are in and of themselves violating federal law," Pullen said. "These are definitely meant to serve as a notice. What might happen as to the continuing investigations, we'll just have to see."

The Times reports that several landlords, spooked by the DEA letter, have already kicked out their tenants. Also today, a friend reports that pro-marijuana protesters have taken to the streets, with at least one group picketing outside the Van Nuys government complex, which was suspiciously evacuated around noontime due to a bong bomb threat. The DEA web site has also announced that four Southland owners/operators of medical marijuana dispensaries have been indicted, including two from West Hollywood.
· DEA targets landlords of pot outlets [LA Times]