We Care Not For Your State Law

When Washington and Colorado legalized pot earlier this year, we wondered how the Feds would react.

Wonder no more:

Federal agents raided several medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday in Washington — a state which just decriminalized the drug last year.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Seattle office confirmed in a brief statement that “several search warrants were executed today involving marijuana storefronts” in the Puget Sound region around Seattle.

It gave no further details, and the number of raids remained unclear Wednesday evening.

One of the dispensaries was the Bayside Collective in Olympia, the state capital, where seven government vehicles converged Wednesday morning.

Agents with guns drawn seized business records and about $2,500 worth of marijuana intended for cancer patients, Casey Lee, who works at the clinic, told NBC station KING of Seattle.

This was a result of a “two-year investigation”, according to the Feds. Unless that two year investigation found illegal trafficking, I’m thinking they would have been better off spending two years smoking pot than investigating it.

A gun-draw raid on a business selling marijuana to people with cancer in compliance with state law. Your federal government, people! Your civil liberties law professor President! This is your drug czar who claims we need to move away from a war mentality!

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  1. Seattle Outcast

    Seattle’s fake newspaper, the neo-Marxist “Post-Intelligencer” (Seattle PI), isn’t covering the story.

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    I think that this will backfire on Obama – western Washington is extremely liberal when it comes to weed, and despite lavish reporting on Obama’s godlike qualities on a daily basis, this is going to piss off a lot of people that voted for him.

    Of course, anyone that thinks he’d actually shrink government for any reason is an idiot, and letting the states drop out of the “war on drugs” cannot be tolerated. All you serfs need to learn that your emperor demands obedience.

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  3. hist_ed

    These raids are consistent with Washington State law. The law barred dispensaries within 1000 feet of schools or playgrounds. As the article stated, the dispensary quoted had been warned that they were violating the law. They need to move and then they won’t get arrested. If a porn shop opened up across from an elementary school, the government would shut it down pretty quickly (except in Oregon).

    Here is an article that actually mentions why the raids happened, something reporters might have wanted to included: http://www.columbian.com/news/2012/aug/23/marijuana-dispensaries-in-school-zones-told-to-shu/

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    hist_ed, I’m not seeing that in the link you posted (which predates the new Washington law). That’s federal interpretation of the law and they acting under the Controlled substance Act (federal law). There is sometimes a split among state authorities about marijuana law and the Feds frequently use that split to claim that they are enforcing state laws even when they clearly aren’t and have not been asked to.

    You’re going to have to show me something more up-to-date, including where it says they were in violation of state law. Not saying you’re full of it; just saying I’ve heard this stuff before from the Feds so I need a little more detail. AFAIK, the DEA wasn’t talking.

    In addition, there was absolutely no need for armed raids on open store fronts. The goal, as I said in my Warrior Cop post, is not just to enforce the law but to “send a message” but humiliating the recipients. Moreover, its looking like some of the shops may still be open and they just took the drugs and cash. That’s not law enforcement; that’s robbery.

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  5. hist_ed

    Sorry ’bout the old article, I was typing fast before reading stories to my kids.

    I have just learned how useless the Seattle Times site’s search function is. Just went there, typed in “DEA” as a search term with a date range of this month and it turned up zero hits. I read an article last week on this and, digging around, found one about warning letters published on Thursday. Site search didn’t turn it up though.

    I guess I have to say that I have some inside knowledge on this. Several Washington counties are working with the DEA on this issue. I did a quick search and tuned up that piece without checking the date. There will be more of these. The press will sensationalize, but you will find that every one is within 1000 feet of a school or playground (the term “playground” is a bit ambiguous of course-some counties are interpreting as any public park that has kids in it on a regular basis. Don’t blame the prosecutors, blame the initiative writers).

    Also, Seattle’s city attorney is also working on a statute about public smoking (I frequently play soccer just south of Greenlake. There is a skatepark close to the fields and waves of pot smoke roll over me as I stand in goal at one end of the field.).

    In addition, there was absolutely no need for armed raids on open store fronts

    This I agree with 100%. In an interesting coincidence, a couple of hours ago a motorcycle cop drove up our cul de sac and told my neighbor to get our kids in the house. There was a “SWAT action” happening a block over. 10 to 1 the SWAT action is something that ten years ago would have been handled by a pair of regular cops.

    On the federalism issue: I think the only role the feds should have in drug enforcement is going after interstate and international traffic. Also thin pot should be legal in all 50, but that’s a state matter and if the good people of South Carolina want to put people in jail for being pot heads, they get to.

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