DEA Assists Medical Marijuana Raids in San Diego

California NORML reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration participated in raids this week on 14 medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego County and that two of the 31 people arrested will face federal charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences. But the raids stemmed from a "four-month undercover investigation" by the San Diego District Attorney's Office, which claims (PDF) the dispensaries were not complying with state law. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis says they were "nothing more than for-profit storefront drug dealing operations run by drug dealers hiding behind the state's medical marijuana law." If so, the DEA's participation would be consistent with Attorney General Eric Holder's avowed policy of targeting medical marijuana providers only when they violate state as well as federal law. Under California law as interpreted by the state Supreme Court, dispensaries are legal only if they are collectives operated by patients authorized to use marijuana as a medicine. If any of the dispensaries were instead for-profit businesses operated by entrepreneurs, they would be illegal—even if customers designated the owners as their "primary caregivers," a strategy the California Supreme Court has rejected.

San Diego authorities are notoriously hostile toward medical marijuana, so they can be expected to deny the legitimacy of a putative cooperative when there is any room for interpretation. In such cases, the DEA remains eager to help. But if Holder's new policy means anything, it means that legitimate cooperatives in more congenial jurisdictions (such as San Francisco) should not have to worry about federal harassment anymore.

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  • bubba||

    Only California could legalize medical marijuana but ban the growing and distribution of it.

  • Joe M||

    Well, that's a mixed bag, no pun intended.

  • ||

    If so, the DEA's participation would be consistent with Attorney General Eric Holder's avowed policy of targeting medical marijuana providers only when they violate state as well as federal law.



    I guess that makes it alright then. Score one for the cosmotarians!

  • ||

    No way around it, Obama is a liar. Too bad that heckler didn't list all the particulars.

    -jcr

  • ||

    The thing about this is that it is such a political loser for the Obama administration. They are simply out of step; which is what you expect from government.

  • Craig||

    ...it means that legitimate cooperatives in more congenial jurisdictions (such as San Francisco) should not have to worry about federal harassment anymore.

    Unless they run afoul of the state sales tax laws, or get too many parking tickets, or forget to water their lawn or properly mark their handicapped parking spaces....

  • tekende||

    it means that legitimate cooperatives in more congenial jurisdictions (such as San Francisco) should not have to worry about federal harassment anymore.

    Ahahahahahaha.

    Heh. Oh, man. Good one.

  • ||

    Ah, so if a gung-ho local DA merely claims that the dispensary is violating state law, Obama's and Holder's promises are void. That's one hell of a fig leaf.

  • ||

    If so, the DEA's participation would be consistent with Attorney General Eric Holder's avowed policy of targeting medical marijuana providers only when they violate state as well as federal law.

    IOW, the DEA will only get involved when it can make no fucking difference whatsoever. That's some fine allocation of scarce law enforcement resources you got there, Eric.

    Ah, so if a gung-ho local DA merely claims that the dispensary is violating state law, Obama's and Holder's promises are void.

    Racist.

  • alice bowie||

    As liberal you all know I am. This reason alone is why I will vote OBAMA OUT!!!

    I'll vote for just about anyone at this point.

  • alice bowie||

    !!! KEEP DOPE ALIVE !!!

  • ||

    For a fact, one of the undercover agents was posing as a terminally ill patient for months.Even to the point of faking a fainting spell inside HCC on university ave in San Diego! The SDPD broke down closed doors when we offered to give them the keys to ones that were locked! They broke up the place without regard to anything but their blind agenda! Score another victory for the Dumanis Mafia!

  • Ben Harper||

    Check these guys out, if you get your card, does that mean you can legally buy medical marijuana?

  • fortyouncer||

    So this raid is evidence that Obama believes we need more choice in healthcare right?

  • ||

    what so many of you don't understand is the city won't issue a business lic. for medical marijuana collectives~ you get stuck in pending due to lack of "use" in zoning! had the city issued business lic. they would NOT have been operating "illegaly."
    ~adela
    owner of Wisdom Organics....

  • ||

    Our federal government is blocking access to one of the least therapeutic substances known to man and offering us highly toxic and potentially fatal options instead...

    i wonder what Thomas Jefferson would do?

  • ||

    fuck the DEA you need to legalize it

  • Medic001||

    MakkHeru: Did you have all of your paper work? your licenses? Were you infact a legit shop?

    Were you for profit? No compassion?

    If not, you got what you got.

    Busting shady shops is a good thing, they busted the shady shops. I am one hand shake away from the Drama in San Dog.

    The DEA left 8 shops alone. these were ALL compliant with the state laws. they pay taxes, they have licenses and actually MDs giving out the cards and sanctioning the growth.

    the Shops that were hit were thug run by Mexican Mafia cartel and side street marketers trying to make a fast buck.

    Follow the letter of the law, play right and play along and they won't bother you.

    SD still has a long way to go, but busting storefronts is a first.

    Again. the shops NOT bothered by the DEA. Were all sanctioned by the state.

    So before you all go stomping and setting things on fire. No the WHOLE truth, not just part of it.

    -Doc

  • Medic001||

    War on sick:Our federal government is blocking access to one of the least therapeutic substances known to man and offering us highly toxic and potentially fatal options instead...


    I'm amiss..."least therapeutic substances?"

    How is MJ not therapeutic. Please enlighten..or is that a typo :)

    -Doc

  • jdl||

    they were just flexing there muscles to let the owners know there still there

  • buildavape||

    It's ridiculous what they are doing to people in California. Make up your damn minds!

  • medicalmarijuana9||

    medical marijuana dispensary and the nature of the business was not fully disclosed when a business license was applied for. The application listed MyCaregiver Inc. as a "Healthcare Cooperative/Individual & Family Services,"

  • Marijuana Doctors||

    There are many clubs that are running improperly and making a bad name for others. I just really gotta wonder though as to how far outside of the law some of these places really are to deserve the DEA treatment? I mean... sure... you screw up your tax forms and the DEA comes to raid you and take you to Fed jail??? When has Pfizer ever had to worry about this?

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