DEA Raids Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Renewed Crackdown

DEA Raids Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Renewed Crackdown

Feds raid at least 4 dispensaries in Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma

OLYMPIA, WA — Federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration launched a new battle in the war against medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington on Wednesday, raiding several medical marijuana dispensaries the Puget Sound region.

A number of dispensaries in the area were closed for business as word of the raids, which began around 11 am PDT, spread among the community.

Raids were reported at Seattle Cross, Tacoma Cross, and Bayside Collective in Olympia, according to Seattle attorney Douglas Hiatt.

“A client of mine who was talking to a D.E.A agent was told that there were going to be 18 places raided today up and down the corridor,” said Hiatt, referring to the I-5 corridor that connects the cities.

DEA spokesperson Jodie Underwood confirmed Wednesday that an operation was currently under way, but declined to provide any details about how many dispensaries were being targeted or how many search warrants were being executed.

Addy Norton, an employee at Bayside Collective, told the Olympian that she was “terrified” during this morning’s raid, telling the newspaper that DEA agents pointed guns in her face as they entered the building.

Another employee from Bayside Collective, Casey Lee, said that agents took 11 or 12 plants and seized about a quarter pound of marijuana, but did not arrest anyone working at the dispensary, saying they would be federally subpoenaed.

“I don’t think we’re doing anything wrong here,” Lee told the Olympian. “This is really disturbing. We just opened last month.”

Lee added that in the short time they have been open, they have done everything they can to comply with Washington state law, which allows medical marijuana collectives to provide cannabis to authorized patients.

Since 2011, federal agents have been cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries in states that allow them, citing federal supremacy over state laws.

Officials from the US Department of Justice have claimed they are not cracking down on small dispensaries or caregivers helping legitimate patients, only those that they perceive as fronts for drug trafficking, but Lee disagrees.

“We’re late on our rent,” he said. “We haven’t even paid ourselves since we opened.”

While other dispensaries in the area closed their doors Wednesday afternoon in fear of being raided, at least one dispensary owner stayed open, who said he was not nervous about being raided.

“We can’t stop them from coming in whenever they want to come in,” said Louis Johnson, owner of Urban Medicinals.

Jonson said that while they try to follow state law to the best of their ability, closing the door to the dispensary would not stop DEA agents with a warrant, as they would likely break the door down.

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  • Bob Rhodes

    This is crap feds! You are not stopping the citizens of Washington State or scaring us so STOP THE BS!!!!!

  • rrdc3

    the people need to arm themselves against the feds. This is no different than the alcohol prohibition days.

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  • MissV

    As Cheney told Senator Leahey, I say to The Federal Pigs: “Go Phuque Yourselves!”

    The USA continues to be the biggest terrorist nation in history, both inside and outside its own borders.

    • Antoinette Jackson

      Isn’t that the truth I have been saying this for YEARS!!!!

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  • Mike

    This is intimidation of people who’ve clearly expressed their opinion on what the law should be in Washington state. What a colossal waste of time and resources.

  • Bob Rhodes

    Somebody that has President Obama’s ear should remind him that without his base he would not be in office for 4 yrs much less 8! WE are his base & he dares attack us now! The republicons don’t attack their base they support them & their rightwing agendas & that includes going against federal laws that legalize a woman’s right to an abortion! That’s State’s Rights so why aren’t the feds forcing federal law on all those republican red states! This is BS & Obama is a hypocrite cause he got high when he was younger & not only on pot!!!

    • Albert Broman

      a big +1. We have two Democrat senators. Have you heard a word from either of them? I haven’t. Patty and Maria are playing at being US senators just as the DEA Gestapo plays at being commandos. I know several people who have been in units such as these. They love to talk about their guns and armored vehicles. They are dangerous and someday they will kill a dispensary emplyee for just standing there.

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  • Mike

    A further thought occurred to me on this idiocy. I suppose that the US attorney thinks the situation is the same as before. Bust up people’s businesses, brings ridiculously high charges and then wait for the plea bargains to roll in.

    Better start thinking differently.

    Usually, defendants plead before trial because they know they’re rolling the dice by going to trial and the odds aren’t good. There remains an element of that here, as anyone facing the power of the feds will attest.

    However, it’s now clearly the case that the government is also rolling the dice with these arrests. Sure, it can go to trial, then exclude most of the significant evidence of what was really going on, simplifying things down to where it’s just some dope dealers they’ve busted. The problem with that strategy now is that the feds can’t tell who’ll show up for the jury in a state where the public has already expressed a pretty clear answer on where it stands. Everyone in the courtroom will know what’s going on, even if the judge predictably excludes any testimony regarding medical marijuana and state law.

    Does the US attorney really think they can count on convictions in even a kangaroo court like this in the state of Washington? I think we should find out, which of course will be a question that the defendants can only answer definitively.

    One things for sure, if the feds think they can loose a case that way in Washington state and not expect that to resonate elsewhere, they truly are delusional. We’re at the tipping point in public opinion on this issue. The same, lame answers the gov’t has given for decades are no longer plausible to the majority in this country, certainly not in Washington state. It’s time Uncle Sam got a good ass-whipping to remind him he serves at our discretion, not for his profit.

    Prosecuting these cases is ripe for the sort of political jiu jitsu that brings down political careers, even entire governments. Yeah, make my day. The government is desperate people acting desperately and about to get even more desperate.

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  • Jason

    I was foolish enough to vote for Obama; taking him at his word that he would not make this a “priority”. What a liar he turned out to be; just like W. It seems our politicians can’t be trusted at their word. What a surprise.

  • res2028

    another double talk fed at work. why bother having state laws

  • Michael Cahoon

    We need a constitutional amendment removing federal supremacy. It’s clear that the federal government cant be trusted to respect the rights of the people.

    • My 2Cents

      Good idea….go to the White House Petition site start a petition and get the signatures. I know they would just blow it off but it might get them to do more things right and well as to ease public opinion.

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  • Guest

    everyone needs to email the senators:http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-maria

    http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme

    I even emailed the President. This has to stop. What a waste of time and tax payers money. Why are they doing this? Go bust up hard core drug and heron dealers, Do something good for people, help save someones life.

    You are right Mike…

  • Gregg Perry

    FEDSSSS your doin good…..haha what a joke… three weeks ago my son got beat to a pulp…in cali. hosp…bills over 50 grand…no insurance…..maraijuna was not involved….what is …is a crazy guy …i know that did this ..FEDDDSSSSS go after people like him with a wrap sheet a mile long….of assult……..not people trying to help people who are sick and want to have a little fun.. sorrry your job want let you smoke…dont take your shit out on your own people ….what happen to the 70s…….people stay high blow smoke in there face..like they do us….get the real people like the one that beat my son into a 3 day coma and still dont know out come thank you for reading…..smoke onnnnnnnnnn brooooo

  • Gregg Perry

    …d fedsss while your spending all your time at our houses…why not get application and try working at one for a bit….you just might like to get high its never to late guys..hhh but your our great fed goverment…..have fun waisting our tax payers 12.3 million…it really would be nice for you all to back offf….

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  • mr finch

    government whores!!

  • 90T 43AD

    How can our government justify putting anybody in prison simply for marijuana?

    You might as well just lock up everybody who drinks wine too, which is far more intoxifying.

    Better yet get back on that border fence project and just go and fence around the entire country since they treat us all like evil scum anyway. At least that way people can keep their jobs, their homes, their families, and continue to pay taxes.

    Just put the violent criminals in prison. And people who lie to start wars.

  • MichaelFarese

    I’d love to see state law enforcement officials stand their ground and stand-off with the feds… that would be epic.

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  • Little Ricky

    Boston had a Tea Party. Could be time for The Seattle Weed Party,,,

  • obvious obliviousness

    think about it, its not a waste of time to them… its scare tacdtics… a premtive strike before the federal government pretty much makes it legal and starts to grow on their own… I am betting it has to do with stupid people being greedy and making way to much money and not paying taxes for it.