DEA raids pot shops in state where marijuana is legal

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, July 25, 2013 14:42 EDT
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Marijuana plants grow on September 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (AFP)
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The Drug Enforcement Administration swooped in on several medical marijuana storefronts in Washington on Wednesday, despite the state’s law allowing marijuana possession.

Raids took place in Pierce, King and Thurston counties, a DEA spokesperson told The Associated Press. They were reportedly targeted by a two-year investigation into dispensaries thought to be laundering money and selling marijuana under the table to unlicensed buyers.

Three shops raided on Wednesday include Seattle Cross, Tacoma Cross and Bayside Collective, according to defense attorney Douglas Hiatt, who spoke to KING-TV. He said at least one other shop was targeted, but added that one of his clients was told up to 18 raids might take place.

Voters in Washington passed an initiative last November that legalized adult marijuana possession up to one ounce and directed the state to develop ways of regulating production and taxing sales of the drug. Marijuana for medical purposes has been permitted in the state for years.

This video is from KING-TV, broadcast on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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