DEA Agent to Raided WA Dispensary Owner: "Things Are Going to be Hell For You"

DEA Agent to Raided WA Dispensary Owner: "Things Are Going to be Hell For You"

DEA raids several medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia

OLYMPIA, WA — When Bayside Collective owner Casey Lee saw seven vehicles speed into the parking lot of his Olympia, Washington medical marijuana dispensary Wednesday morning, he thought he was being robbed, and told his employees to take cover.

“When I came outside, there were guns drawn on me,” Lee said Wednesday night. “And then I saw the badges.”

As DEA agents cleaned out the shelves of his dispensary, confiscating an estimated $2,500 worth of medical marijuana and 17 small marijuana plants,  Lee says an agent asked him why he continued to remain in the business of providing medical marijuana.

“One of the DEA agents said: ‘This is your second raid and your third robbery. Why do you keep doing this?'” Lee said.  “I just told him it’s because we just enjoy helping people, and he told us that he wasn’t expecting that answer.  They don’t get to see the cancer patients.”

Lee says another agent approached him during the raid and said, “Things are going to be hell for you.”

Lee’s Bayside Collective was one of several medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington raided by federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency Wednesday, in a sweep that stretched the I-5 corridor from Seattle to Tacoma to Olympia.

“Enforcement operations have concluded and due to the ongoing nature of the investigation we will only be able to provide the following information: Several search warrants were executed today involving marijuana storefronts in King, Thurston and Pierce Counties,” Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Jodie Underwood said late Wednesday, but declined to provide any further  explanation as to how many dispensaries were targeted, or why.

Washington is one of 20 states in the US that have authorized the medical use of marijuana, and one of two states where voters in November 2012 elected to legalize the possession and state regulated sale of marijuana to adults 21 or older.

According to Lee, his dispensary was doing everything it could to operate under Washington medical marijuana law, but agents told him he was being raided because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

The feds have conducted more than 250 SWAT-style raids on state-compliant medical marijuana businesses since 2011. Here, law enforcement commandos descend on a Santa Rosa, CA neighborhood in search of medical marijuana growers in September, 2012.

The feds have conducted more than 250 SWAT-style raids on state-compliant medical marijuana businesses since 2011. Here, law enforcement commandos descend on a Santa Rosa, CA neighborhood in search of medical marijuana growers in September, 2012.

“We asked what we were doing wrong?” Lee said. “We thought we were complying with every law and everything and they said it’s federally illegal.”

Steve Sarich, executive director of the Cannabis Action Coalition, says the raids Wednesday weren’t about shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries at all.

He believes it is the federal government flexing their muscles in an ongoing battle between a state whose voters chose to legalize marijuana and the federal government refusing to back down from their stance that marijuana is very much illegal.

Sarich added that armed commando style raids on the medical marijuana community are unnecessary, saying that if federal authorities wanted the collectives to close, legal notices were equally, if not more, effective.

“What this is is urban terrorism, Sarich says.  “They want us uncomfortable. They want us scared all the time. If you get a cease and desist letter from the feds you shut down because you can’t really fight them but when they come in with machine guns and helmets, that’s to terrorize you and it’s to terrorize the community.”           [continued]

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  • Bhonze

    F^&king Commies with guns!!! This should not be tolerated in a Democratic society. Our Federal Govt. is just robbing us blind. They take the money from the stores and do not arrest anyone this is like the Wild West days when the Govt. was just running wild.

    • MissV

      Those Pot Pigs are not ‘Commies'; they are Fascists. Big difference.

      Snowden & Manning have more backbone/manhood/intelligence in their little fingernail than Pot Piggies will ever dream about.

      Oink, oink, piggies. Almost time for your slaughter!

  • Albert Broman

    Steve’s right, this is just terrorism by the jack-booted Gestapo that wants to dress up and play with their big guns. Obama is a lying rock sucker. I probably won’t vote Republican next election, but i just won’t go to the polls. That won’t help the Dems and it won’t help that silly little mom-in-tennis-shoes who has done absolutely nothing to stand up for her state or the people in it. Patty, why don’t you show some political gumption? All you have done is “go along to get along” and have achieved nothing that doesn’t come with being there so long. At least Inslee had to sign a bill to show where he stands. You hear nothing from Patty, and Maria is just a big joke.

    • Mr. Loco(LocDaSmoke)

      vote 3rd party instead…

      • Make FL RICH

        Libertarian.

        • Mr. Loco(LocDaSmoke)

          yup, that’s what I did last election! Gary Johnson had my vote

          • Intergalactic Pimp

            Me too. What’s not to like about that guy?

          • Mr. Loco(LocDaSmoke)

            I wish he won. He would probably got our country back in the right direction

          • Be129

            Uhh,, Corporations don’t want someone they don’t “own”.

    • Robert Proctor

      Submit a blank ballot. It counts.

  • mr finch

    who are the terrorists ? our fascist spying government!!!!!!!!! land of the free, what a joke!

    • Fist in the Air

      Land of the free? Whoever told you that was your enemy…

  • Poppydog

    The Feds are public enemy no 1. They did it to themselves. I believe a rebellion is coming soon because they are acting against the will of the people and that is tyranny.

  • Jim Fowler

    nice article scott, two thumbs up!!

  • handytrim

    Disgusting fascist bullying tactics by the worlds supposedly finest democratic country. The people are in favour of change but the federal government have other ideas. Just when I thought the US were showing the world how to make amens for introducing the evils of cannabis prohibition in the first place your government ramps up its war against its own people. Damn shameful state of affairs not at all becoming of the land of the free and home of the brave. I’d expect these kind of actions from those countries in the Middle East that we have tried to force democracy upon. What is democracy if it is not shaped by the will of the people? You might as well have Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein sat in the White house!

    • MissV

      As Pres. Jimmy Carter said this month, “America has no functioning democracy.”

      Word.

  • RudyBlue

    What a waste of time and money. Now more people will have to go back to drug dealers for their pot, which eventually could lead to their incarceration, wasting even more money. Shame on you, President Obama! You said and then went back on your word. Given recent events, I will never Democratic again, not even for Hillary Clinton. Green Party Independent for me.

    • Andrew146

      I can’t believe Obama lied again. Oh say it aint so, say it aint so. Looks like the one thing that will insure the loss of ones moral fiber is being the puppet (president) of the USA.

      • madmatt6773

        Fool me once shame on you…

  • iamhellsangel

    Phuck da DEA bunch of waaaaaanna be’s…GBA…cheap liquor,handguns and crack/meth….mmmmm

  • Reverb

    What a bunch of pricks. Don’t their little brains understand that the people in that state have declared it legal?
    Those who think they can inhibit individual sovereignty are DELUSIONAL.

    • Robert Proctor

      One of several excellent quotes from this beautifully-written article,

      “What this is is urban terrorism, Sarich says. ”They want us
      uncomfortable. They want us scared all the time. If you get a cease and
      desist letter from the feds you shut down because you can’t really fight
      them but when they come in with machine guns and helmets, that’s to
      terrorize you and it’s to terrorize the community.”

      The shock trooper cops can’t hear our voice through their fog of war. Were they responding to a citizen complaint? No. Under the color of an obsolete, ineffective, Controlled Substances Act, born and bred of corruption and petty politics, they pick their time and place like a pack of wolves while ignoring the clear voice of the honest, peaceful business people and voters that they represent.

  • James Burtnett

    OK it time to LOAD UP!

    • Be129

      Were it not for my wife and my mother,, I would be there,,, As long as they live,, there are LOT’S of lucky people out there!

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  • Concerned

    Where is the state police? These federal terrorists should have been arrested for breaking state confiscation laws. In other words stealing a legal product from a state authorized dealer.

    • SHowbiz

      Unfortunately, Federal law is over State law. Supreme Court has ruled this way MANY times and will do so in the future as well. Yes, it should be legalized, but until that happens, every business will be opening against Federal Law.

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  • Crass B

    If the feds won’t allow an actual place of business to sell it, let the dealers sell it and don’t arrest them. Let the citizens grow the hell out of it. I say make the city and state workers go out and plant massive amounts of seed in protest of the US gov/DEA action.

  • ASDF FDSA

    I hope they need it one day. And the same types do not let them get it.

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  • Dave_Mowers

    Apparently the statement, “Selling marijuana is illegal under federal law” is just too darned confusing. You are not allowed to profit from anything illegal under federal law so every dime in income you make is ill-gotten gains under federal seizure laws. It just simply doesn’t matter what you want or think. Changing a State’s laws is pointless without a federal counterpart. Just wait until the I.R.S. or FDA get started on each of these store owners. Then life will be a living hell.

    • Mike

      “It just simply doesn’t matter what you want or think.”

      Yeah, kind of tragic you’re so hot to call our democracy dead in the name of some racist law the population doesn’t support. But thanks for letting us know what the DEA thinks, as if that wasn’t clear already. You can return to the sewer you crawled out of now.

      • Dave_Mowers

        You seem to have difficulty understanding how our democracy works; Mowie Wowie?

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  • americafkyeah

    Marijuana is the biggest danger to the USA. It makes white women want to be w/ black men. It causes people to go crazy and jump off of bridges. It’s by far more dangerous than crystal meth, heroin and cigarettes

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  • Little Ricky

    Tea started The American Revolution.

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  • E Hengst

    awful..and the DEA are the criminals here… and jerks 2.. wow.

  • E Hengst

    awful..and the DEA are the criminals here… and jerks 2.. wow.