Feds Raid Dispensaries in Washington State

The DEA raided several medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington State yesterday. One had only been open a month.

Casey Lee, an employee at the Bayside Collective, said DEA agents served him with a search warrant and seized about "11 or 12 plants Wednesday morning. They also took marijuana in jars that is set aside for patients. He said the seized marijuana totaled about a quarter pound. The DEA agents seized his and another employee's cell phone, Lee added.

Fellow Bayside Collective employee Addy Norton said she was "terrified" during the raid, and DEA agents pointed guns in her face as they entered the building.


Some of those at the store were handed federal grand jury subpoenas for September. No one was arrested and no computers were taken. Local law enforcement did not participate in the raid, which apparently was part of a two year investigation.

The DEA had only this statement today:

“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.”

Washington, like Colorado, legalized small amounts of marijuana for personal use in November.
One patient interviewed today said:

"You can't tell me there isn't bigger fish to fry, especially now that recreational marijuana is legal. It is just to me inconceivable that this is still happening."

Without more information, it's hard to say what the DEA is up to. If I had to guess, I'd say they have decided to go after businesses, not users or patients, and today's raids are related to conduct that pre-dated the November election. No arrests and grand jury subpoenas indicate an ongoing investigation. DOJ has always said they won't look the other way at people and businesses who are profiting.

< U.S. Won't Be Getting Joran Van der Sloot Any Time Soon | Federal Jury in NY Returns Death Verdict >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Top down, they've been going after anyone (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by melamineinNY on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 08:45:54 AM EST
    and everyone in competition with cradle-to-grave
    Big Brother Pharma, legal or not. IMHO

    At first, the DEA went after dispensary owners. Now they're going after doctors who simply recommend medical marijuana to their patients.

    I couldn't get the link to work but source is tokeofthetown.com/2011 - Doctor Faces Jail Time for Recommending Medical Marijuana.

    I love that the DEA... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 08:53:05 AM EST
    ...are really just shills of the pharma and booze industries and, therefore, are more interested in getting people killed by more harmful substances, by far, than marijuana. Another feather in Obama's idiot cap. Obama, that is, who IS a drug addict, it's just that his addiction is to nicotine. And also the Obama who makes his own recreational drugs IN the White House (as in brewing his own beer). The lying of the government never ceases, turning borderline sociopaths like Obama into full blown members. Hooray!!

    All this while Monsato is somewhere (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:45:42 AM EST
    Someplace, working its arse off to grow the best medical weed evah, that will cross pollinate with everything to include my garden pansies (probably via exhaled smoke) and they will own it all !!!

    I am so tired of the war on weed, that I'm pretty sure will only end in Monsanto victory :)

    Luckily, they're only going after major dealers (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 04:15:51 PM EST
    like we were promised, eh? An entire quarter pound. Lawdy, is there even a tractor-trailer rig big enough to carry all that weight?

    I think the dea should be dissolved (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by ZtoA on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 07:27:32 PM EST
    I have a good friend who legally grows for medical outlets in California who was 'swept up' by the feds. He was legal and everyone in the county knew it. Was an active part of the community and had contributed for so many years and was not one of the big growers. He had all his legal ducks in a row and was an artist with his agriculture. Very sad.

    A balanced but tentative view ... (none / 0) (#3)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:41:00 AM EST
    ... from Dominic Holden of local alt weekly The Stranger.

    ... There are plenty cases of people running "medical cannabis co-ops" who get busted because they are running for-profit operations that have nothing to do with medical pot. You may not think that should be a crime (I don't necessarily), but it is. Washington State's Medical Use of Marijuana Act doesn't protect those folks and it wasn't intended to.

    So before making an armchair verdict on today's dispensary raids, I want to see the charging documents. ...

    I agree RonK , it's just that when I read of (none / 0) (#5)
    by melamineinNY on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 11:57:14 AM EST
    disproportionate force being deployed unnecessarily by DEA enforcers, I suspect their main intent as being to solidify fear in place of checking on their target's compliance or with the full weight of law on their side.  

    I agree , it's just that when I read of (none / 0) (#6)
    by melamineinNY on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 11:58:17 AM EST
    disproportionate force being deployed unnecessarily by DEA enforcers, I suspect their main intent as being to solidify fear in place of checking on their target's compliance or with the full weight of law on their side.  

    Yeah, but... (none / 0) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:59:21 PM EST
    Whatever their purpose, in the Feds eyes they are the same because according to the drug schedule, marijuana has no medical value.

    Your quote would make more sense in California and the raiders had been local or state cops.

    It ridiculous no matter where you stand on the weed debate for the Feds to mess around with a quarter pound or weed.


    If they stuck guns in peoples faces (none / 0) (#10)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 02:43:26 PM EST
    I would think they could be charged with some kind of Washington law of menacing or assault or something since the marijuana is legal under state law. The feds may have been acting under federal law, but they used violence against people on what at a state level is legal. Charge them with state crimes for brandishing firearms and terrorizing unarmed people.

    Our governor, Jay Inslee, (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 10:39:55 PM EST
    would have to show some real cajones in backing up for the law we passed, and challenge the Feds to stop this nonsense. But he's been almost invisible since taking office, and doesn't have the required cajones to stand up to Obama. Incidentally, the current DEA head is Seattle's former chief of police.

    "backing up the law" (none / 0) (#13)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 10:40:42 PM EST
    The state (none / 0) (#11)
    by Char Char Binks on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 08:38:52 PM EST
    is a part of the United States, and fed law trumps state law.  The state can't charge the feds with doing what is legal (brandishing firearms and terrorizing unarmed people).