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

The Daily Chronic – by Scott Gacek

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.”

Bayside Collective employees in Olympia, WA stand in front of empty shelves following a raid by the Drug Enforcement Administration Wednesday, July 24, 2013. (K5)

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.”

Along with Bayside Collective, Seattle Cross, Tacoma Cross and Key Peninsula Cross were also confirmed to have been raided.  The exact number of dispensaries raided Wednesday remains unknown, but as many as 18 collectives could have been targeted according to Seattle marijuana law 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 Wednesday.

Tacoma Cross exteriorA short drive up I-5 in Tacoma, the doors to Tacoma Cross were locked, and a hand written sign hung in the window that read “Sorry. Closed Until Further Notice.”

The same was true at Seattle Cross, where one medical marijuana patient was surprised to see the closed sign and empty shelves.

“It is just to me inconceivable that this is still happening,”says Leif O’Leary, angry at the DEA. ”You can’t tell me there isn’t bigger fish to fry, especially now that recreational marijuana is legal.”

During the 2008 presidential elections, presidential candidate Barack Obama said that medical marijuana was an issue for state governments, not the federal government.

“I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue,” Obama said at the time.

But since the 2008 elections, the Obama administration has become increasingly less tolerant of state’s marijuana laws.

In a 2009 memo to federal prosecutors in the then-14 states that allowed medical marijuana, the Justice Department said that it was committed to the “efficient and rational use” of its resources, and that prosecuting patients and distributors who are in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state medical marijuana laws would not happen.

Two years later, the administration made an abrupt about-face, and began a large scale federal crackdown on medical marijuana providers, beginning with major enforcement efforts in California and Colorado.

When voters in Washington and Colorado legalized the adult use, consumption and sale of marijuana in November, President Obama told ABC’s Barbara Walters that the federal government has “bigger fish to fry” than enforcing federal drug laws in states that allow medical or recreational use of marijuana.

“We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” President Obama told ABC News. “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.”

However, Gil Kerlikowske, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) appointed by President Obama, said in February that enforcement of federal marijuana laws will continue in both states.

“You’ll continue to see enforcement against distributors and large-scale growers as the Justice Department has outlined. They will use their limited resources on those groups and not on going after individual users,” said Kerlikowske.  ”We still have federal law that places marijuana as being illegal.”

US Attorney General Eric Holder has refused to comment on how the Department of Justice will handle recreational pot shops once they open in early 2014.

“You will hear soon,” Holder said in February. ”We’re in the last stages of that review and we’re trying to make a determination as to what the policy ramifications are going to be, what our international obligations are — there are a whole variety of things that go into this determination — but the people of [Colorado] and Washington deserve an answer and you will have one soon.”

Holder, and the Department of Justice, have been silent ever since.  But with Wednesday’s renewed crackdown on medical marijuana providers in Washington, it would appear that question has been answered.

http://www.thedailychronic.net/2013/24837/dea-agent-to-raided-wa-dispensary-owner-things-are-going-to-be-hell-for-you/

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13 Responses to DEA Agent to Raided WA Dispensary Owner: “Things Are Going to be Hell For You”

  1. arizona says:

    IF you notice, the sheriffs office has to OK any law inforcement action,in their county,IF the sheriff don’t give his permission,ITS ILLEGAL,AND EVERYBODY IN VOLVED IS A TERRORIST,and can be shot on sight,CALL YOUR SHERIFF AND HAVE THESE AGENTS ARRESTED,there should be hundreds of charges on them,IF YOUR SHERIFF was aware of the raids and OK’d them,HES GUILTY OF TREASON,and should be hunted down like a wild dog with rabbies…………………..

  2. diggerdan says:

    GOOD POST #1. just goes to show how ya can trust the state and federal govt. – they are all a bunch of hippocritical traitors. Every last one of them,.

  3. arizona says:

    AND while your at it, ASK THAT PIECE OF SHIT,you call the sheriff,and ask him if he has a ticket to the underground cities,cause if he don’t ,he’ll be up here with us,when the shit hits the fan,LETS hope he don’t,most of the sheriffs in america don’t have a ticket,YET their sucking the government off like they have ten tickets,THERES A BIG SURPRISE coming for them,when they realize how hungry our dogs are going to be on the account of them……..and be aware,these morons WILL BE HELPING THE RUSSIAN invaders,cause there all cowards,and they think the russians are going to WIN,BUT THE LORD says, no he won’t allow them to win,THE LORDS GOING TO PROTECT his people and the police gangs aren’t his people….as a matter of fact,THE LORD CALLED THEM TERRORISTS,so that should open the eyes of even the stupidist government ass kisser………………………

  4. nottoobitter says:

    The un is cracking down on the feds for violating treaty. criminal scumbag holder needs a noose.

  5. Vic Pittman says:

    It seems the feds are trying to make us all criminals …so be it ! We outnumber them around 3000 to one, assuming there are 1000 “bad” ringleaders. The day of reckoning is approaching fast, and THEY will lose.

  6. Jim says:

    I like the way the article says, “he thought he was being robbed”. He WAS being robbed.

  7. Randall says:

    Just keep repeating “land of the free” again again and again. Maybe that will make it true I cant believe Americans still believe they are free. Freedom of speech is not freedom. A chained dog that can bark is not free.

  8. Wisconsin Native says:

    It’s time for all these sheriffs to grow a pair and kick these fed terrorists out of their counties like the vermin they are.What the hell do we elect them for?

  9. …would it not be great?…if a sheriff in one of these counties allowed the raid to occur…and then back-stopped the feds by blocking their egress from the sight? Just blockade all the Feds in…until they agree to peacefully return the property they have stolen, and to leave the county peacefully…never to return …otherwise, blockade them until they starve to death…or have to be saved by their criminal, corrupt federal brothers…

    Regards,

    RJ O’Guillory
    Author –
    Webster Groves – The Life of an Insane Family

  10. Diaz's cashed bowl says:

    Legalization is just a scam by the feds.
    Legalizing pot is just an easy way to take more power away from the police and putting into the hands of the feds.
    That means more people will be prosecuted and jailed by FEDs who will in turn need more money to enforce federal law in states which legalize pot.
    In the past these pot users would not be prosecuted by local police, they would at most have been issued a misdemeanor ticket and a fine.
    now its a federal case.

    Obama after he got into office raised the byrne grants from $120,000,000 to $3,600,000,000

  11. d says:

    Kinda doing away with state sovereignty.

    States are supposed to be able to set their own laws and not be harassed by the fed.

    • Diogenes says:

      As if the States had any ‘sovereignty’ to begin with.

      Alexander Hamilton —ZIONIST BASTARD that he was— connived from the very beginning to turn this nation into what it has become.

      His legacy is our curse.

      Our ONLY chance to extricate ourselves from this mess to REJECT the current paradigm of government, and embrace THE NEW PARADIGM OF GOVERNMENT, and that begins by OUTLAWING ALL private banks, and ALL corporations, public and private.

      It means that the People must become FULLY involved in their government by DIRECTLY determining what is law, and not.

      It means that a full 80% of ALL the citizens MUST agree on whatever proposed law, rule, regulation, or treaty, or it isn’t law.

      It means that NOBODY pays ANY taxes for anything of which he does not avail himself. If you want it, than YOU pay for it, and nobody else.

      It means that the U.S. is PROHIBITED from engaging in hostile acts against any nation or entity which has not attacked the shores, borders, territories, or shipping of the United States.

      It means that in all cases where the private citizen is confronted by matters of law, his sovereignty shall take precedence where his actions, or lack thereof, shall have caused no real and/or measurable harm to any other person, and no person shall seek to pursue whatever course of legal action against him, regardless. Additionally, no law shall issue which shall violate in whatever way, the privacy of the individual, for any such laws are a violation of the citizen’s sovereignty.

      It means that no law, rule, regulation or other effect in law, shall be enacted which will in any way, manner, fashion, shape or form, impede, diminish, infringe, limit, contravene, negate or otherwise intrude upon whatever individual right of the People.

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