DEA raids Washington marijuana dispensaries in cities that set marijuana as lowest enforcement priority.

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Multiple news outlets are reporting DEA and local officials raiding over a dozen dispensaries in the Seattle-area counties of King, Thurston, and Pierce in Washington State.
The Olympian reports:

The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force served search warrants at five medicinal marijuana dispensaries Tuesday morning and shut them down, according to a police spokesman.

The News-Tribune reports:

Five dispensaries were targeted in Thurston County and five in Pierce County, law enforcement officials reported. So far, no arrests have been reported from the searches in Pierce and Thurston counties.
The warrants targeted locations that are suspected of not complying with state law on medical marijuana, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
“The places we hit are not compliant with state law so we initiated enforcement,” he said. “There are facilities and people that are in compliance with the law that we did not hit.”

KOMO reports:

Medical marijuana activist group ‘Sensible Washington’ tells KOMO News searches have been conducted so far at Seattle Cannabis Co-op, Game Collective, Tacoma Cross, Lacey Cross and Seattle Cross among others.
KOMO News asked DEA spokeswoman Jodie Underwood if agents were serving search warrants on dispensaries in other counties as well and she acknowledged agents were serving several search warrants locally.

Remember, these raids are taking place in Tacoma, which just had an election last week on this very issue of marijuana law enforcement:

(Seattle Times) Tacoma voters easily passed citywide ballot Initiative No. 1 — the measure seeking to make “marijuana or cannabis offenses … the lowest enforcement priority” of the city.
After Tuesday night’s count, 65 percent of voters favored the measure, while 35 percent cast no votes.

And Seattle, which had made marijuana law enforcement its cops’ lowest priority in 2003 by a 58% vote:

(Seattle P-I) Since Seattle voters famously made the Emerald City a bit greener by mandating that cops mellow out when it comes to marijuana possession busts, a funny thing has happened.
Nothing. Nada. Nil. No crazy hopheads running amok with “reefer madness.” No groundswell of support to legalize the drug (at least no more than usual), and no discernible protest by law enforcement that a pro-drug message effectively has been sent — or received.
“I’d say it’s had little to no effect,” said [former] City Attorney Tom Carr, an outspoken opponent of Initiative 75, the 2003 ballot measure that directed Seattle police to make low-level pot busts their lowest priority. “And that’s good. It hasn’t been a problem. You can tell by the numbers.”

Seattle is so accepting of marijuana that the new city attorney, Pete Holmes, won’t even prosecute you for personal possession and believes marijuana should be legalized, as does the mayor, Mike McGinn.  Even the Seattle City Council is unanimous in their support for medical marijuana dispensaries.

The people of Washington State don’t seem to have as much problem with marijuana as the people of Washington, D.C.

59 thoughts

  1. Just in time for Weed Wars!
    Just in time for the Feds to waste more money on cannabis prohibition!
    That fuckin’ supercommittee had better fuckin’ slash their budget with wording that disallows any time or money to be spent on cannabis prohibition, putting it the lowest fuckin’ priority!
    And, the fuckin’ supercommittee (fuckin’ Toomey) had better recommend ending cannabis prohibition.
    That money could be used toward federal grants for jobs, or public education, or to bail out distressed cities.
    DEA suck!

  2. It’s pretty clear… the Cartels don’t like the competition… and since they’re in bed with the Feds and the Big Banks… well guess what. No soup for you.

  3. If Ron Paul were president this BS would not be happening. A recent Rasmussen poll puts him in a dead heat with Obama, the best showing by ANY Republican candidate/clown in a heads up match with Barry. Why is this not common knowledge? Why isn’t the media making a big deal of this?

  4. Guys, as much as I hate seeing this happen, this:
    “Remember, these raids are taking place in Tacoma, which just had an election last week on this very issue of marijuana law enforcement”
    …holds absolutely no water when we’re dealing with the DEA. As much as I hate to say that, it’s a sad but true fact now. The Feds are looking to make us miserable. We can’t let them do that.
    This is very upsetting to see this going on. Thanks to our benevolent leader(oi!) this is probably not the last time either. Thanks for being such a lame-duck Mr. Obama. Damn hypocrite!
    [Russ responds: My purpose in juxtaposing the Seattle and Tacoma lo-pri initiatives vs. the DEA raids was not to imply that the former would make any difference to the latter. With my concluding sentence I thought I’d illustrated my intent to use that juxtaposition to highlight how little power we have at the local level to control our own destiny on the matter.]

  5. I live about 300 miles away from Seattle, on the east side of Washington state. Washington state isn’t as enlightened as you think. Our dispensaries were raided in May of this year, with the cooperation of local law enforcement, and have yet to re-open. Several former owners are going to jail, and many patients have no place to go to for their medication. Many of us drive to Seattle, but that is a hardship for numerous patients.
    I truly believe that Seattle’s refusal (at the same time the Spokane busts were occurring)to allow local law enforcement to assist the DEA was the major factor in keeping the dispensaries open in King County. However, not every county or jurisdiction in Washington has a Mike McGinn, and Governor Christine Gregoire vetoed major parts of a medical marijuana bill that would have protected the dispensaries and their operators. I am told she did so in order to pay off a political debt.
    Let your elected officials including sheriff, chief of police, county prosecuting attorney, etc. exactly how you feel about using your local law enforcement (paid for by *your* tax dollars)to assist the DEA in closing dispensaries. If the local police don’t back-up the DEA agents, they are hesitant to complete the bust. I guess they don’t want to waste taxpayer’s money on federal marshals.

  6. I thought the government was broke. Why don’t they quit wasting our money on fighting a benign herb?

  7. I’ll probally get beat up by one of the Reps. from NORML for saying this but, what’s the big deal here ? What if a liquor store was shut down because they were not in compliance with State law or a grocery store for selling spoiled meat & milk ? Would you have a cow then ? Let’s not jump to conclusions until we here all the facts………are they paying their taxes . Does there medicine contain pesticides ? Or ?
    Read this again,
    ” The warrants targeted locations that are suspected of not complying with state law on medical marijuana ” , Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
    “The places we hit are not compliant with state law so we initiated enforcement,” he said. “There are facilities and people that are in compliance with the law that we did not hit.”
    Of course as much as the Government likes to lie to the people we may never know the true reason why they were raided .

  8. What we in Wsahington state need is a governor who is willing to stand up to the federal govt even with our own state defense forces if necessary. We are one of the last states left that has a state militia for this exact purpose, protecting the constitutional rights and state laws of Washington state residents and voters,,,
    When US attorneys threatened to prosecute any state employees that wouldve been regulating and protecting dispensaries and grows under last summer’s new laws, Gregoire should have said, just try it,,,
    Federal law does not trump state law, in essence that was the core of what the “American” revolution was all about, neither should trump the other. They are equal and neither should be impinged upon the other. We need new state govt. at the top, I dont care what political party they belong to as long as they have the guts and brains to protect our rights at every cost. It should be really simple, on federal lands and buildings, federal laws apply, on any other state or private property, state laws apply,,

  9. Weed prohibition is like alcohol prohibition. It’s the control freaks against the lovers of liberty. Eventually we will win. But how many lives have to be ruined in the process.

  10. Is there a light at the end of this tunnel.?..help, i fell like i am caught in a perpetual time loop where i am living in the last day’s of Ann Frank’s diary over and over again and over again…STOP IT NOW

  11. Raids on dispensaries are one of the best things the federal government can do to upset citizens and draw awareness to the truth that cannabis is medicine. So don’t be discouraged fellow Norml people, the more upset people get by raids, the more the population will support legalization.

  12. SNAFU!!
    The old meme “All politics is local” still applies. Local governments and / or local LEOs that either see Medical Marijuana dispensaries as an ATM or have intrusive Right Wing Authoritarian / Fascist tendencies continue to get elected, in spite of a majority of constituents support for a specific agenda, in this case a liberalization of cannabis prohibition.
    Voters cannot rely upon any particular political party’s candidates for office, Democrat or Republican or Other, based solely upon their party affiliation. Right Wing Authoritarian / Fascistic tendencies of ‘our’ politicians know no party boundaries. That object lesson has been borne out by the results of the election of Obama to POTUS in 2008.
    Voters must extract concrete and definitive pro-cannabis policy platforms from these politicians Before they are elected to office and then Hold them to their explicit campaign promises, rather than accept nebulous campaign rhetoric as validation of Their intentions.
    If voters have the ability to recall politicians that don’t meet their standards of governance, then Use That Power. If that power doesn’t exist, then Validation Before Election is required, which admittedly takes greater Voter Participation rather than Apathy. If any elected politician reveals RWA tendencies, or doesn’t abide by a stated party platform plank Or campaign promise, then why should voters rely upon some vague or erroneous proposition that somehow such politicians will ‘change their spots’ and serve their constituents more completely in a subsequent term of office? Vote them Out Of Office, period!
    I get a bit tired of hearing about how any particular political candidate or other has no chance of winning election because of either lack of substantial campaign funding, or lack of ability to overcome whatever political roadblocks prevent their listing on the electoral ballot.
    This is the Internet Age, and there are reasonably well-connected alternative methods of communicating with and between constituents on important issues that transcend the need for mountains of campaign cash. Money doesn’t buy a single vote, but only influences lazy voters who will not think for themselves (who might even be too lazy to vote anyway).
    Every election ballot that I have ever seen has the provision available to ‘Write-In’ the candidate of the voter’s choice, even if that takes a few extra minutes and effort to do so. If your favored candidate isn’t on the ballot, then put him/her there yourself. That’s within your rights, so use it.
    Electronic voting machines have been used to fraudulently alter election results, and until their use is abolished there is an alternative that activist constituents can use — the paper Absentee Ballot, which is its own paper trail. Use this ballot, and mail it in Early — in fact, make a xerographic copy of that Absentee Ballot first, just in case.
    All of these methods can be used to overcome the undemocratic Corporatist influence on elections, both locally and nationally, as well as entrenched party dogma that limits the field of political candidates. If We The People are ever going to take back control of our government and country from the Kleptocratic Oligarchy, it’s going to take more effort and some little-used but quite legal tactics such as these.
    David

  13. This is plain bull shit. Cops raiding dispensaries Cops raiding occupy camps with rubber bullets and bullet bombs. Cops always causing the problem. When r we going to actually and physically stand up to cops and Feds? Until then u better be prepared to be made an example of because they can use force. Grow up America. We the people are no more thanks to pussy mofos

  14. Washington state will be the first state to legalize marijuana in 2012. The proverbial writing is on the wall.

  15. The reason Ron Paul gets no media is because his election would mean a disruption in the balance of power agreement between the two parties. You get 8 years, we get 8 years. To keep this agreement the republicans must field a lame product, so that the dems. are sure to win. Ron Paul is the fly in the soup. But he will get my one vote.

  16. This is an outrage. We the people doesn’t mean a damn thing in this country. I don’t drink. I can’t stand the stuff but I have bottle of champaign in the fridge from last New Year’s. I just couldn’t bring myself to open it. But Nov 2012 on election night when that liar two faced president is voted out of office I will open that bottle and celebrate his ass getting voted out!!

  17. The way our Federal Govt goes after the cannabis herb would not be recognizable as intelligence to an advanced alien race!

  18. Regarding the recent decision in California’s North state about closing down collectives…..I don’t use Marijuana, but I do know alot of people Older and Younger than I that do because it is a natural type medication and more affordable than regular medicine. I think that it’s pretty crappy that the city allowed these people to spend soo much money – open a legit business that is actually helping others legally & safely; then turn around 6 months later and tell them to shut down in a 2 week period! I would rather see people buying from the collectives than trafficking on the streets illegally. And as far as the concerns of those citizens that were saying that the collectives get robbed/burglarized causing a concern….so do banks, liquor, convenient stores & gas stations…maybe we should consider closing them down, too! Hmmmm, maybe we should just Ban all Holiday & Xmas Shopping In Redding…wouldn’t that be the same? There is more crime committed & It’s probably more dangerous to shop during the Holidays than any other time of the year….How would that affect all other merchants, and how would they like it then?…..the medicinal group of users make up at least 1/2 of our population….they would make a huge impact on our communities if they chose not to buy from other merchants who have chosen to ban their collectives especially during the Holiday & Christmas Season….I’m sure it would clearly send a message & leave behind a very deep impact on everybody involved….A collective doing business has just as much a right as another business in the same city w/o all the harassment involved.

  19. How’s that hope and change going these days? No more Bushes or Obamas puh-leeze. Our Constitution can’t stand the stress!

  20. Lets see! The dems & repubs cant use the war, economy, gays, guns etc.. to get get re-elected, no! they only
    have getting tough on drugs.
    Peeps we are being slowly thrown under the bus!

  21. Please end this war, I’m paying way too much for my Illegal weed because the law makes it Illegal. Let us be so we can have quality medicinal value Marijuana Readily Available to All those who need,or even just want!

  22. Washington, or cities within it, should pass a law making it illegal for local police to help the DEA.

  23. I think there are a few question that really need to be answered.
    Why are state and local police agencies enforcing federal laws that are in conflict with their own state and local laws?
    Why are they shutting down legitimate, tax paying businesses and putting the employees of those businesses out of work when these people contribute to paying the salaries of the police force that is supposed to be there to protect their rights and protect them from real criminal activity?
    Who owns the police and how long will it be until they are rounding us up and shipping us off in cattle cars?

  24. We are slowly entering a police state in America if we haven’t already begun the fall. It is simple civil liberties such as the right to chose what we do with our bodies which are being removed while the innocent are merely punished for laws which are outdated and hypocritical in nature. It is time we take a stand as the American people and vote these fascists out of power and amend the constitution to remove money from politics. It is time for a man named Ron Paul.
    Legalize Freedom, Legalize Liberty, VOTE RON PAUL 2012.

  25. And all this coming from a nation where cantaloupes and spinach are poisoning people. We know that the government does not have the best interest of its’ citizens in mind…so America, stop fooling yourselves, nothing is supposed to make sense.

  26. cancer/aids patients need to form an armed militia. that would get national attention, a gun battle between the sick and dying and the dea. medical marijuana would be legal on the federal level within a month.

  27. Steve,
    That is because the media will tell everyone who the Republican candidate will be. And, as a big surprise, you don’t see Ron Paul in any of those discussions. The media “shows” the candidates, and then their cute little anchors and correspondents shape opinions with rehearsed points that all the sheep can understand. Then, the wonderful public opinion polls come out, and the sheep vote for the candidate they are told to vote for. No common sense is needed; your television will tell you the two people you can vote for. Keep it simple for the simpletons.

  28. #21 Berta
    I think that you have the right idea about an economic boycott. If local political leadership insist upon using the DEA as a pretext for Their local LEO raids on State-lawful medical cannabis dispensaries, then what better way to express disdain for Their RWA / Fascist actions than to boycott Holiday Season business in those locales? The DEA will not conduct these raids on their own — they require the cooperation and assistance from local politicians and LEOs. If the only thing these fascists care about is the assets / money They seized, and Their power trip, then the quickest path to Their hearts (They haven’t any) is to hurt them in Their financial bottom line.
    Notice that the Occupy Movement has finally gotten the attention of the Lame Stream Media and the politicians. When the Democratic politicians found that they could not suborn the Movement the same way the Tea Party Movement has been by the Republicans, they responded as all Right Wing Authoritarians / Fascists have, with coordinated between cities excessive force from our militarized police.
    First, (figuratively speaking) kick these Fascists in the balls (to get their attention). Then, organize a Voter Recall Referendum to throw Them out of office. Whatever else We The People do, can We at least agree that Not Re-Electing these RWA / Fascists into office is also an appropriate response?

  29. Thats a great idea to boycott locally.
    Send the message to the locals that we are tired of being arrested and they will either get on board with the more than 50% of the nation or take a chance on losing your business. We’ll let the business district decide. Since its already bad times, it wont take much to push them right out of business. ONly do business with businesses that support the legalizaton and let them know its in their best interest to put a sign in their window stating they do indeed support legalization. That gives everybody a choice, this is a great idea, spread it around. Lets do it all over the country.

  30. RE #34:
    The other day I was job hunting through Craigslist and came upon an opening for a door man in a residential community. You know, a guy that stands there doing nothing all day….
    Anyway, one of the requirements for the job was passing a drug test.
    I took the opportunity to respond to this job posting with a brief lecture on drug testing, and why would they want to test someone for drugs for a job like a door man? Who cares if he smokes pot? He’s obviously not going to be smoking pot on the job.

  31. Stop the Lie
    Legalize!
    The $ we are spending to enforce a law built on a lie does not make us to smart as Americans

  32. @35 – That’s hilarious (and bothersome) that anyone would have to pass a drug test to be a door man!!!
    It just goes to show how stupid these people can be regarding drugs (cannabis in particular). They really seem to think that cannabis will turn someone into some kind of total idiot. They would be amazed to learn that in my past career as a computer programmer that I actually did some of my best work under the influence – NO LIE!!! That probably won’t surprise anyone who is also a user since I’m sure we all know better.
    It is truly laughable (and again bothersome) that the prohibitionists think they are so smart when they are the ones that are actually clueless…

  33. I live in seattle and I find it so sad because these dispenseries are only trying to do the best for their patients. If our police are even treating marijuana as a lowest priority what makes the DEA come in and not feel and look like total jack-asses!
    Seattle police do great and better since they dont worry about me sharing a blunt with family and friends.
    By the way if it weren’t for pot I couldn’t do my job.
    I would never eat enough before work to give me energy to go all day.
    I wouldn’t be in the best mind state to take on everything the second I walk in the door at work.
    Legalize it so I can keep getting quality stuff that helps a lot better than the stuff dealers sell on the streets. By the time you smoke enough to get high off the bad stuff you feel worn out from smoking that garbage!!
    Legalize and focus on something productive..
    DEA.. doesn’t it feel like your job can easily be swept away? Is that why you do such irrational things??

  34. Maybe it’s time for voters to start new initiatives that demand that their elected officials and local law enforcement actively defend dispensaries against federal action. You think the feds will raid a co-op if local law enforcement showed up equally armed and ready to fight for their citizens?

  35. #40. Do you think local law enforcement is going to put their lives in jeapordy over a plant that provides them with job security? We have the only “for profit” prison system in the world designed to repress minorities and employ jerkoffs. I say its time for voters to OCCUPY THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS! And I mean OCCUPY. DON”T LET THE POLITICIANS OUT OF THEIR OFFICES until they submit to the will of the people who elected them!

  36. It looks like this could be the beginning of the End of Medical Marijuana! (to me) If any of you care about Medical Marijuana you had better get busy and do something. Or soon it will be gone.

  37. The pro cannabis community falls into the same trap as most of the Democratic party in that we allow the opposition to frame the debate. If every organization and individual that posts a comment, issues a press release, or speaks in public needs to adopt terminology that reflects reality rather than propaganda. Never, ever refer to the war on drugs when it is really a “war on the people.” It is not President Obama that is waging this war, it is “admitted cocaine user Obama.” We should constantly point out that the only difference between Obama and a federal prisoner is pure luck. Obama has escalated the war on the people, and it is time for the people to stop begging for justice and fight back with passion.

  38. #41 Personally I agree with you in that a drastic action would be satisfying, but that’s not how things work. Under our current government an act like that would likely be deemed a terrorist act and they would pounce on the opportunity to strip us of even more rights…. such as the right to a hearing…
    However I do believe that any public servant who wants to keep his/her job will respond when they see how adamant we are about getting said job done.

  39. Local LEO’s going against State law need to be fired for breach of contract. Class action suit? All the ppl busted by cops ignoring State law.

  40. The feds sure could use a good ass beating. Their mj pirates ways are just pushing for legalization to begain but stealing from the sick is what i’m wanting to be justified. They steal our medicine so we would have to buy their poison. Now whose dangerous?

  41. Hello – They’re not shutting down cannabis pharmacies [a violation of the Constitution] – they’re shutting down state sovereignty [the biggest violation of the Constitution]. And there goes our freedom. Get in line for your 666 chip implant.

  42. For slaves, things can be rather uncomfortable at times. The tragedy is for true American patriots, deprived of their God given birth right to live in freedom with liberty as acknowledged and cited in the Constitution of the United States of America. Any voluntary conduct or lack of conduct that does not violate the identical rights of others is none of anyone else’s business, nor is it the business of government at any level. Most American citizens are not even able to define freedom and liberty. This is tragic, considering what some have paid and are paying for the freedom and liberty most Americans allow to be denied them in virtually every facet of their lives. I believe slavery is wrong, a clear violation of God’s will for people to live in freedom with liberty.

  43. I read these posts on this site for long time, I have major neck injury causing many problems for me,and I
    would like to be able to choose this for myself.. I read all the polls and even worst polls have support around 50% for cannabis…. I just read poll that “Congress” has public rating of 9%. its on cbs news website

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