Marijuana Raids: It Could Happen Here -- At Any Time

Categories: Marijuana
Pot police.JPG
Paranoid about potential pot raids? You should be.
It's been nearly two years since Drug Enforcement Agency agents raided a medical cannabis dispensary in San Francisco. So while a raid might not be fresh on our minds, this week's bust in Montana and Southern California have served as a sobering reminder that yes, it could happen here.

At any time. 

We're not trying to make you paranoid, but local dispensaries can't seem to shake what happened this week when federal authorities abruptly busted into pot clubs in Montana and West Hollywood, Calif.

Those who argue that medical marijuana is legal need a crash course in law. The U.S. Constitution contains a supremacy clause that says federal law trumps state law. And under federal law, marijuana is illegal.

There's no getting around that.

"If you're in this business, you should expect that someone [from the government] could walk into your door at any time," said Kevin Reed, CEO of The Green Cross, a medical cannabis delivery service. "You must always be prepared for that moment."
The national director for Americans for Safe Access, a marijuana-patients' advocacy group, has gone on the record saying the Montana raids were politically-motivated; state legislators in the Big Sky state are discussing whether or not to repeal its seven-year-old medical marijuana laws.

As for West Hollywood, it's still unclear as to why federal authorities raided pot clubs, considering city officials there routinely inspect questionable and shady dispensaries.

The search warrants will remain sealed until a judge's orders otherwise. That means the rest of us who are closely monitoring pot politics are left stewing in the dark.

But we don't need to know why the raids happened to understand the effects of these busts.

"This is a form of intimidation by the federal government," said ASA's Kris Hermes, a spokesman for the Oakland-based national office. "Certainly, anyone who runs a dispensary anywhere is vulnerable."

The likelihood remains marginal that someone can get raided in the Bay Area, but it's not out of the realm of possibility, Hermes added.

This case was in point a few months ago during a San Francisco Medical Cannabis Task force meeting. An audience member in attendance got a text message, alerting people about a city pot club that was getting an unexpected visit from federal authorities. 

It turned out to be a false alarm, yet the message sent people in the room into a frenzy.

So the threat of federal prosecution is probably not foremost on the minds of the open-air tokers who linger on almost every street corner in San Francisco. But maybe it should be -- it certainly is a concern of the people who grow, sell, and transport the marijuana that they're consuming so cavalierly.

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5 comments
h. brown
h. brown

Chris,

Is this other 'Chris' your doppelganger? Yeah, this is fine journalism. Roberts covers the pot beat and it's a big part of the SF economy and social scene. Our problem in the pot community is that Obama doesn't keep a tight rein on his DEA cowboys in the field.

De-criminalize ALL drugs and you'll get a 40% reduction in your prison population nation-wide and the drugs wars in Mexico will go away.

Go Giants!

h.

Chris
Chris

This kind of article is not real journalism. The author is not a constitutional scholar or a state's rights scholar. The will of the people of California is clear, and the Obama administration said it would stop these raids. The bottom line is that the feds are attacking plants and people who love plants, at a time when the government is bankrupt.

Davesnot Here
Davesnot Here

The so-called "War On Drugs" isn't a war on drugs, it's a war on marijuana. And more specifically, it's not a war on marijuana, it's a war on stoners, on heads, on people that use reefer: YOU and ME - peaceful, job holding, tax paying, otherwise law abiding citizens.

"Booze is GOOD and reefer is BAD": that's the message that's been pushed on Americans for the past several decades, and mainstream America has drunk the kool-aid.

It's way past time for change.

http://partyseeking.blogspot.c...

njudah
njudah

Why all the surprise? Federal law is clear, and you can pass all the little ballot initiatives and have the "will of the people" on your side, but the DEA could give a frak. And, thanks to all the paperwork, it's not like they can't find out who's buying and raid them too. It's completely insane, of course and a waste of resources, but when has that ever stopped the federal government?

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