Marijuana dispensaries raided recently by federal agents in the state of Washington were targeted despite state laws. The drug was legalized for personal use earlier this year in the northwest state. An announcement of the raids was made Wednesday afternoon by Drug Enforcement Administration representatives.
At least four dispensaries were raided, including one in the state’s capitol, Olympia, reports The Atlantic Wire. Seven vehicles with federal agents showed up at the Bayside Collective Wednesday morning. Guns raised, agents took business records and nearly $2,500 in marijuana.
One worker who was present during the raid. He said that the marijuana taken was intended for cancer patients. He says he found the raid to be “humiliating,” adding that it only hurts the patients.
This recent move from federal authorities answers the question everyone has been asking: How will the feds respond to marijuana legalization in states? Not well, clearly.
Earlier this year Washington, along with Colorado, became the first US states to not only decriminalize weed but to allow it for personal use — not just medical use. Today, nearly 20 states across the US have laws allowing marijuana use in some way.
On the federal level, however, marijuana is still a banned drug. The recent marijuana dispensary raids in Washington show that federal agents still plan to enforce this despite state laws.
Sources at the Puget Sound Business Journal say federal enforcers usually target certain types of businesses. “Bad actors,” they are sometimes called, are dispensaries that advertise their low prices and do bulk sales. This can get the DEA’s attention.
The raids came as the result of a two-year investigation, officials say. A trial is planned to begin in September.
The recent decision by the FDA to crack down on marijuana in the US, regardless of state or local law, is likely to spur major controversy. As at least four medical dispensaries have been raided in Washington State, other retailers, otherwise legal in the state, are now wondering if they will be next.
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