DEA Targets 23 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Washington State
On Thursday the DEA sent letters to 23 medical marijuana businesses in Western Washington, warning they could be prosecuted and the properties seized if they are operating within a school zone.
“Please take the necessary steps to discontinue the sale and/or distribution of marijuana…within 30 days,” read the letter, signed by Matthew G. Barnes, special agent in charge for the Seattle field office.
“I am confident that once notified of the ramifications and penalties associated with renting a property for marijuana distribution purposes, property owners will take appropriate steps to rectify the situation on their own. The DEA will not turn a blind eye to criminal organizations that attempt to use state or local law as a shield for their illicit drug trafficking activities,” Barnes said in a statement.
The letters follow the same pattern of letters to hundreds of dispensaries in Colorado and all over the west coast.
“We need to enforce one message for our students: drugs have no place in or near our schools,” the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, Jenny Durkan, said in a statement.
Why aren’t officials worried about the message that hiding medical marijuana sends to kids? It tells them that cannabis is bad, so when they need medical help, they will turn to dangerous and addictive prescription drugs.
To be fair, dispensaries are not legal under Washington state law, but that still does not make it a matter for the DEA. They are using federal law to butt into state business.
An attempt was made to legalize and regulate them and a bill passed the state Legislature last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Chris Gregorie. The Governor’s veto left intact a law that allows 15 patients to band together to form a 45-plant “collective garden.” Some medical marijuana storefronts have used a broad interpretation of that provision to form networks of collective gardens, with patients signing into an open slot in a garden.
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