DEA Raids Multiple Marijuana Dispensaries in Washington State

CANNABIS CULTURE – The US government is continuing its brutal crackdown on medical marijuana providers in several states across the nation. Yesterday, Federal agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration raided more than a dozen med-pot dispensaries in Washington State, making several arrests.

At least 14 location are believed to have been raided by DEA agents with the help of local police, who made 17 arrests of dispensary owners and operators on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

The Cannabis Defense Coalition, a non-profit group focused on marijuana activism in Washington State, says the Feds, “hit medical cannabis access points in at least Lacey, Olympia, Puyallup, Rochester, Tacoma, and Seattle,” and listed locations they believe have been raided:

Medical marijuana is legal in Washington State, but, as Reuters notes in it’s coverage of the raids dispensaries are “neither explicitly permitted nor banned under a 1998 voter-approved state law that legalized pot in Washington for medical purposes,” but that “State law does allow collective medical marijuana gardens of up to 45 plants, or a maximum of 15 plants per patient.”

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed legislation earlier this year that would have legalized and regulated dispensaries.

In a DEA press release issued shorty after the raids to KBKW Radio and other media, Special Agent in Charge Matthew Barnes said, “The DEA will exercise its investigative authority to pursue criminal actions for any violation of federal law, when warranted. This includes investigating organizations or individuals that grow, manufacture or distribute any illegal drug to include marijuana, and those who rent or maintain a property to facilitate drug trafficking.”

Barnes said, “It has never been our policy to target individuals with serious illness. However, there are those operating commercial storefronts cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana under the guise of state medical marijuana laws and exploiting such activities to satisfy their own personal greed. The DEA remains committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in all states.”

According to KBKW, Barnes did not say exactly how the DEA judges the difference between the two, but noted “The coordinated enforcement actions of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and our state and local law enforcement partners involve violations of both federal and state law.”

In another statement issued by the US Department of Justice, officials said,

“Each of the investigations targets commercial enterprises that purport to operate as “medical” marijuana establishments but also fail to comply with applicable state law.” …

“Some of these medical marijuana stores were the subject of complaints from their surrounding communities as well as marijuana supporters, concerned about businesses operating outside the letter and spirit of state law.”

Watch a video about the raids from KING 5 News.

See photos of the raid from Q13 FOX News.

Protests Planned

Medical marijuana patients and providers are outraged by the latest attacks from the Obama Administration and its government agencies, and are planning protests at the Federal building in downtown Seattle.

“I’m in shock because now I have no pain medicine,” Cameron Christenson, a medical marijuana user who suffers from from chronic pain, told the press. “It means people are going to have to go back out on the street and you don’t know what you’re getting,” Christenson said. “It’s going to be a nightmare.”

According to the Cannabis Defense Coalition, protests will start at today (November 16) at 11am at 915 2nd Ave. in Seattle (The Federal building). View the map.

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The raids are part of an ongoing crackdown on medical marijuana being waged by the Obama Administration in several states where medical marijuana is legal. Activist now say that Obama is worse on the issue of marijuana than his predecessors Bush and Clinton.