By Russ Belville
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 Thurston County Narcotics Task Force served search warrants at five medicinal marijuana dispensaries Tuesday morning and shut them down, according to a police spokesman.
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.”
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.
From The NORML Blog