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Feds Are Starting to Crack Down on California Pot Dispensaries

Susan Recht smokes a marijuana cigarette at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco, Friday, Oct. 15, 2010. Attorney General Eric Holder says the federal government will enforce its marijuana laws in California even if voters next month make the state the first in the nation to legalize the drug. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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The era of legal pot dispensaries could be coming to an end. Sixteen shops in San Diego received notices from the federal government ordering them to shut down within 45 days, even if they are operating legally under California's 15-year-old medical marijuana law, according the Associated Press.

And this is just the beginning. Tomorrow you can expect an announcement from the state's four U.S. Attorneys announcing a broader crackdown. AP was able to get copies of the letters that have been sent to pot dispensaries or their landlords:

"Under United States law, a dispensary's operations involving sales and distribution of marijuana are illegal and subject to criminal prosecution and civil enforcement actions," according to the letters signed by U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy in San Diego. "Real and personal property involved in such operations are subject to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States ... regardless of the purported purpose of the dispensary."

The Obama administration has been toughening its stance on medical marijuana, after backing off two years ago. Recently, the administration issued a letter saying that medical marijuana users aren't allowed to own guns under federal law.