When Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana last fall, drug enforcement agencies around the country knew it would be an uphill battle. After all, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Yesterday, federal drug enforcement agencies flexed their muscles once again and raided several legal medical marijuana dispensaries in the Puget Sound region. Search warrants were issued and several medical marijuana dispensaries were targeted, including Seattle Cross, Tacoma Cross, and Bayside Gardens in Lacey.
Casey Lee of Bayside Gardens said that the DEA seized about $2500 worth of marijuana that was meant for medical patients. Bayside Gardens' employee Addy Norton said that the DEA seized personal cell phones and marijuana. She was also ordered to appear before a federal grand jury in September. According to the DEA, these raids were part of a two year investigation.
According to the DEA, "Several search warrants were executed today involving marijuana storefronts in King, Thurston, and Pierce Counties."
Drug Enforcement Agency Spokeswoman, Jodie Underwood told reporters earlier this year that these storefronts are in violation of state and federal law and that this action was part of an on-going comprehensive strategy to combat drug trafficking. In 2013, the DEA sent 41 warning letters to medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle ordering them to cease and desist.
Even though Washington voters have clearly spoken up for their right to purchase medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, the Obama administration has continued to threated and harass the State of Washington and their medical marijuana dispensaries—even though most of them are completely compliant with state law. Since he took office in 2008, Barack Obama's administration has raided over 4x as many marijuana dispensaries as President Bush in half the time.