facebook
twitter
search
search

Feds raid 14 Washington medical pot shops

Nov. 16, 2011 at 1:44 AM

SEATTLE, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Prosecutors said medical marijuana dispensaries raided in the Seattle area Tuesday were violating both federal and state laws.

At least 14 outlets in three western Washington counties were shut down by the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the Obama administration's crackdown in states that allow the use of marijuana for so-called medical purposes.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a written statement that the dispensaries targeted by the DEA were actually commercial operations that allegedly sold large volumes of pot and also laundered money.

"State laws of compassion were never intended to protect brash criminal conduct that masquerades as medical treatment," said Durkan, who said the federal government was not out to "prosecute truly ill people or their doctors."

Durkan said the dispensaries allegedly also sold marijuana to people who were not truly sick or operated within school zones. "The activities today and the ongoing investigations are targeted actions consistent with Department of Justice policy and guidelines," she said. "Our job is to enforce federal criminal laws."

The Seattle Times said medical marijuana advocates had expected the raids. Although medical marijuana was approved by Washington voters in 1998, Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed legalization in May that would have legalized and regulated dispensaries, which eliminated most of the legal protection the shops once enjoyed.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kim Jong Un had terrapin farm manager executed, says source
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
North Korea requests medical aid from U.N. agencies
Kenyan bishop warns Obama against pro-gay policy
Duma approves construction of $4 billion bridge to Crimea