DEA Raids Legal Pot Dispensaries In Seattle
DEA agents raided several Washington marijuana dispensaries this week. This raises more questions regarding states’ rights in the face of federal laws regarding personal use of the drug in the state. According to the UPI, five Puget Sound-area dispensaries were targeted after a two-year investigation. Many of the same dispensaries were under the scope in a round of 2011 raids. The DEA took cell phones, documents, and marijuana plants from the shops, but no arrests were made. Dispensary owner Casey Lee was intimidated by the DEA’s heavy-handed approach. Lee said the raids reminded of him of when he was robbed in the past. He went on to describe the raids as “humiliating” to KING 5 News.
The shops seem to be soldiering on in the aftermath of the raids. Bayside Gardens, one of the affected facilities took to Facebook to let everyone know they were still around. “We are still open! We may not have any meds, but we are open!” They stressed that they would not be held back by the charges and that their dignity remained intact. Olympia’s Bayside Clinic also took to Facebook to let its patients know they were fine. “We’re not sure if they’re going out to the other collectives, but we’re just letting you know we were raided and we’re OK…and not in jail. They did take all of our stuff but we are still going to be here to continue the fight”
However, the Bayside Collective had restocked its shelves and was open for business today. According to ABC 7 Chicago, Bayside Collective wanted to reassure its customers that everything was on the up and up. Employee Andy Norton said “What we are doing is legal, we have all our paperwork, we have our license, we pay our taxes.” Lee, owner of Bayside Collective, was asked about the possibility of money laundering. Two years ago, an owner was found to be involved in such activity. “Absolutely not”, Lee replied, and stated he could account for every penny. Lee worked with that owner at the time of the 2011 raids.