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US Department of Justice

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been using civil forfeiture as one way of funding their efforts to combat the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, which continues to be illegal to possess under Federal law as of 2019.[55][56] According to government figures, the DEA collected $18 million in 2013 as part of its Cannabis Eradication Program.[57]Proponents in favor of legalizing marijuana have objected to this practice, which includes DEA seizures of properties in which marijuana is used and sold. A bill has been proposed in the United States Congress to eliminate this source of funding.[58][59] As more states progress towards legalizing marijuana for medical use and for recreational use, there are more businesses to sell marijuana, sometimes called dispensaries or “weed shops”. A report in The Guardian in 2015 suggested that such shops operated in a “tricky gray zone”, so that even in the 23 states where medicinal cannabis is legal, such dispensaries can be “wiped out by a single visit from law enforcement”.[60] While state law may recognize such establishments as having a legal purpose, federal law does not recognize this, and conflicting interpretations can emerge, which can result in properties being confiscated.[60] It has sparked controversy and, in some instances, public outrage.