Feds Continuing Crackdown On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries | Crime
Friday afternoon Governor Chris Gregoire vetoed part of a bill that would have overhauled the state's medical marijuana laws and allowed for dispensaries. Her action came the day after DEA agents raided at least four dispensaries around Spokane.
Gregoire says she will not allow state workers to license marijuana dispensaries, because possessing or selling marijuana is a violation of federal law.
Charles Wright, the owner of THC Pharmacy has rethought things in the wake of the raid on his dispensary. On Thursday he vowed to sell marijuana again, saying patients needed it and he was going to take a stand. On Friday he changed his tune, saying he was permanently closing his store.
One call at a time Cassandra Wright is informing patients THC Pharmacy is no longer selling medical marijuana.
"Today I'm in the process of shutting everything down. We don't dare reopen," she said.
On Thursday evening Charles Wright said that "THC will be open and in full operation tomorrow." His message less than a day later was much different.
"Effective immediately, THC Pharmacy is shutting down immediately and I recommend all pharmacies in Washington State follow suit," he said.
DEA agents raided THC Pharmacy Thursday, confiscating all the marijuana and cash. But it wasn't the raid that scared Wright into closing. He said his it was a conversation he said his attorney had with US Attorney Michael Ormsby Friday morning.
"I am being threatened with 20 years to life and I have no further political power to do anything. If I open the doors today they will put me in prison tomorrow," he said.
Across town at Essence of Mother Earth, a dispensary that was not raided Thursday it was business as usual. Owner Weylan Colebank doesn't know why he wasn't hit Thursday but said, "It's a matter of time you know."
He's prepared for the feds to arrive any minute and has scaled way back on his inventory.
"When they do come in we don't want them to take thousands of dollars worth of stuff," Colebank said.
Colebank says he's making a stand for patients who don't know where else to turn.
"They're making it so people have to go to the streets again. They're promoting the black market which is crazy to me," he said.
Charles Wright said that US Attorney Michael Ormsby has said that federal raids will continue until all dispensaries are in compliance with federal law, which states it is illegal to possess or sell marijuana.
When contacted for comment on this story, Orsmby would not comment on the case except for to say the investigation is ongoing.
Governor Gregoire said that Friday's partial veto is not the last word in the medical marijuana debate. She said she would like to see marijuana reclassified as a schedule 2 drug, which would allow it to be prescribed.
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